- Associated Press - Friday, March 28, 2014

KAILUA-KONA, Hawaii (AP) - State land officials are proposing to keep Kiholo State Park Reserve largely as-is while adding campsites and improving access.

The Hawaii Tribune-Herald reported Friday (http://bit.ly/1hETc0k ) that the nearly 7-square-mile reserve would also add basic sanitation facilities.

The state Board of Land and Natural Resources is considering the master plan.

The plan does not include upgrading access roads that are unpaved. The state’s master plan says it would rather encourage visitors to walk from Queen Kaahumanu Highway as a way of controlling use.

“The preferred alternative involves very limited construction and would have minor impacts on the topography, geology and soils within the park,” staff of the Department of Land and Natural Resources wrote to the board.

A new park entrance above Kiholo Bay and a parking area and entrance above Keawaiki Bay would have small effects, department officials said.

The department said it wants to keep Kiholo as a “quiet retreat for families and groups and from which visitors could stage their exploration of the adjacent bay, shoreline area, trails and other natural and cultural features.”

The plan would add six campsites to eight currently at the site, which require a permit. More than 1,800 people camped at the park in 2012.

The department had to close the park for two months in 2011 to clean areas that were damaged by squatting and illegal camping.

The board is also planning to consider allowing a group to run an interpretive center at the reserve.

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Information from: Hawaii Tribune-Herald, http://www.hawaiitribune-herald.com/