State removes swing at Sacred Falls amid battle (on and off social media) with trespassers

Hawaii's Department of Land and Natural Resources removes swing from Sacred Falls on June 1,...
Hawaii's Department of Land and Natural Resources removes swing from Sacred Falls on June 1, 2022. (DLNR)(DLNR)
Published: Jun. 2, 2022 at 4:03 PM HST|Updated: Jun. 2, 2022 at 4:39 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Amid ongoing safety concerns about trespassers looking for the perfect social media post, the state has removed a swing that was illegally put up at the base of the long-closed Sacred Falls hike in Hauula.

The state Department of Land and Natural Resources removed the swing at the 80-foot-high falls Wednesday, while also citing a woman who was leading 10 people into the park.

DLNR states that one woman, who was leading 10 people on a hike to the waterfall, was cited during the removal of the swing.

Officials said it was strung from a tree there sometime earlier this year, and added the swing’s removal comes amid growing concerns about trespassers at the site.

The park has been closed since Mother’s Day 1999, when a landslide killed eight people and injured dozens.

DLNR puts the blame of trespassing on the influence of social and travel media postings, which they say causes people to regularly risk their lives by hiking into the area.

“Despite our earnest efforts to ask people to delete images of the swing on their social media pages, some influencers continue to encourage others to do stupid things that could get them killed or seriously hurt by following their posts,” Jason Redulla, chief of the Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement, said in a press release.

DLNR said they continue to cite trespassers that risk entering the park. In May 2020, four hikers were cited for violating emergency rules and for entering the closed area. Two of the hikers were Honolulu residents while two were visitors.

“We don’t have the luxury of putting officers here every day,” Edward Thompson, a DOCARE officer, said in the press release.

He added, “We understand wanting to post cool and exciting adventures on Instagram or Facebook, but people need to ask themselves, is it worth the risk? Apart from being cited or arrested, falling rocks, even small ones, can seriously hurt or kill someone, as history has shown.”

For updates and more information on Sacred Falls State Park, click here.

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