Trash, remains off Waimea Canyon road called 'embarrassing'
By Coco Zickos
The Garden Island
KOKEE — The wafting aroma of decaying animal carcasses is not something visitors should have to endure while enjoying Waimea Canyon's beautiful vista, said Arthur Keale.
"It's so embarrassing," the Waimea resident said last week after reaching what he called his "breaking point."
Illegal dumping off Highway 550 on the "old Army road" at a hunter check-in station has been an ongoing problem for some 30 years but is gradually getting worse, Keale said last week.
The state says it will respond to the report but a multi-pronged solution is ultimately needed.
An avid hiker, Keale said he likes to enjoy the area and take pictures, but "sometimes it smells so bad."
People are "ruining" the pristine landscape, he said.
A former hunter, Keale said he can't understand why other hunters are not showing respect by taking care of animal remains in a proper manner.
"They make us look bad," he said. "It would be so easy to bury" the remains.
But it isn't only hunters trashing the area, others are also using the place as a dumping ground, Keale said.
"It's our island and we're trashing it," he said.
Waimea Canyon and Kokee State Park and Highway 550 are "generally clean and well maintained," according to the Department of Land and Natural Resource's Division of Forestry and Wildlife and Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement.
DLNR spokeswoman Deborah Ward said in an e-mail that an enforcement officer has been assigned to investigate and that staff will be discussing the possibility of posting "no littering" signs.
Ward said the road is near an irrigation ditch where a "wide pull-off" spot is "sometimes used for illegal littering and dumping."
Forestry staff is responsible for cleaning the area once a month, she said.
The state Department of Transportation has not received complaints about the area, said spokeswoman Tammy Mori.
The situation is "something that is a concern," but "the DOT alone won't be able to solve (it)," she said.
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