Trees at this Sand Island park are dying. The likely culprit? Barbecues
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - An unsightly and harmful problem is developing at the Sand Island State Recreation Area. A number of trees at the campgrounds are either damaged or dead.
The likely cause: Barbecues started by park goers.
For the last several months, environmental watchdog Carroll Cox has been tracking the activity at Sand Island, often witnessing grills lit up or burning charcoal dumped under trees.
He estimates at least 20 trees are either unsalvageable or have sustained heavy damage as a result.
“Most of it is gone, the bark is gone, so it leaves the tree susceptible to insects and fungus and disease,” Cox explained. “When you look around, this is a natural beauty. You got the ocean here. You got the beautiful clouds and then you got a smoking tree. It’s nonsense.”
Cox says at least one tree has been removed due to burning charcoal and fears many others in the area will either need to be chopped down or are at risk of snapping.
He’s not putting the blame on the state, saying there are designated disposal pits available.
“This is a daunting task,” Cox said. “You don’t know when the people are coming to barbecue and you would think that everybody handling a match with barbecue and charcoal would be responsible and not torch the park.”
In a statement submitted to HNN, the DLNR Parks division said it is working to address the problem.
Although the pits and signage are there, “Unfortunately, trees take on the burden of poor decisions and bad behavior in these cases.”
Copyright 2022 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved.