IMBA Hangs 10 in Hawaii|
Tuesday, March 20, 2001
Joey Klein of Subaru/IMBA Trail Care Crew #2 spent January working with IMBA's Hawaii state representative John Alford and the Hawaii Mountain Bike Association.
There's a rainbow everyday in Hawaii, the state fish is the Huma-huma-nuku-nuku-aho-ahi and Don Ho is still rockin' the house in Waikiki. The Aloha State is a chain of sparkling islands comprised of Hawaii, Maui, Molokai, Lanai, Kauai and Oahu. These jewels are the birthplace of surfing and home for some of the best trails in the world. Led by IMBA Hawaii state rep John Alford, I got a taste of paradise this winter.
Since Captain Cook's trip to Hawaii in the late 1700's, the islands have endured a barrage of new dangers. Disease wiped out thousands of indigenous people, foreign domestic animals took over native habitat, and introduced plants have dominated most of the endemic species. Today, Hawaii land managers face new challenges, trying to balance environmental protection while providing recreation opportunities.
One of the folks meeting this challenge head-on is Aaron Lowe, trails specialist for the Na Ala Hele Trail System. He is responsible for nearly two hundred miles of trail on Hawaii Island. Aaron has empowered volunteers and formed diverse partnerships to help protect and enhance the trail system.
Perhaps the most exciting moment of the trip was testifying at the Hawaii State Capital Building. Liz Ryan of the Hawaiian Bicycle League and I testified at a public hearing to the Senate Committee on Tourism and Intergovernmental Affairs. The testimonial supported a new bill to grant county land managers immunity from liability related to outdoor sports and recreation.
I also worked closely with the Hawaii Bicycle League, local mountain bike clubs and state rep John Alford. We looked at examples of great trail systems around the world that could be emulated in Hawaii, and how partnering with other user groups can help create new trails.
All in all, it was a fantastic trip. TCC2 hopes to return in the future to help improve the magnificent trails of Hawaii.