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Posted on Jan 5, 2021 in Latest Department News, Newsroom

(HILO) – A group of people who have illegally taken over a portion of Wailoa River State Recreation Area were notified this morning to cease and desist by 5pm tomorrow (Wednesday, Jan. 6).

Officers from the DLNR Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement (DOCARE) taped one order on a sign the group had put up at the park’s entrance. Another was presented to the group’s leader and another was posted in a small encampment.

The group has planted between 50 and 60 taro plants and banana trees across a football-sized field in the popular and widely used State park. The participants are claiming jurisdiction over the park. They don’t have any permits for planting or for erecting signs at Wailoa.

Today a man sat at the park’s entrance drumming. Another person was mowing grass around the fresh plantings.

Eight years ago, the man leading the group was cited after similar illegal activities at Wailoa. DOCARE is working closely with the DLNR Division of State Parks to return the area to public usage.

DOCARE Chief Jason Redulla said, “No matter their professed claims of ownership, this  recreation area and all other State Parks belong to all of Hawai‘i for the enjoyment by residents and visitors. Park users have expressed concerns that members of this group are ignoring County and State mandates to wear masks during the COVID-19 pandemic.” Today about a dozen people appeared to be part of the group. Last weekend, media reports indicate the number had swelled to 75 or more.

The Cease and Desist order requires the group to remove tents and other camping gear or the materials will be considered abandoned property.

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(All images/video courtesy: DLNR)

HD video – Cease & Desist Order at Wailoa River State Park:

Photographs – Cease & Desist Order at Wailoa River State Park:

Media Contact:

Dan Dennison

Senior Communications Manager

(808) 587-0396

[email protected]