DLNR To Hold Public Meeting on Thrillcraft Use Around Lana’i

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DLNR To Hold Public Meeting on Thrillcraft Use Around Lana'iLANA‘I CITY – The Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) will hold an informal public meeting from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, June 25, 2008 at the Hale Kupuna o Lana‘i at 1144 Ilima, Lana‘i City, to hear from community members whether they want to see thrillcraft (also known as personal watercraft or PWCs) allowed around Lana‘i

“The purpose of this meeting on Lana‘i is to find out if there is broad general support for jet ski riding from residents,” said DLNR Chair Laura H. Thielen.

Commercial or recreational use of thrillcraft, such as jet skis, is currently prohibited around the islands of Lana‘i and Moloka‘i. A petition is being circulated on Moloka‘i to demonstrate public support for legalizing jet ski riding, and DLNR held a public meeting there on May 8 to hear from Moloka‘i residents.

Legalizing thrillcraft riding would require a change to the administrative rules Chapter 13-256- 17 of the Division of Boating and Ocean Recreation, and involve a process of public hearings on a draft rule change, approval by the Board of Land and Natural Resources (BLNR), review by the Small Business Regulatory Review Board, Department of the Attorney General, and final signature by the Governor, before it could become law.

In addition, Hawai‘i Administrative Rule Chapter 13-256-16 requires all personal watercraft operators to be certified in the safe use of their watercraft, by completing a class offered through the University of Hawai‘i Community College System.

Under its administrative rules, thrill craft operations may be curtailed in certain designated areas as necessary, to avoid possible adverse impacts on humpback whales or other protected marine life; provide for increased public access; reduce user conflicts; and promote overall public safety.

The meeting location is disability accessible. If accommodation for special needs is required, i.e., large print, taped materials, sign language interpreter, etc., contact Lana‘i Harbor Agent Sherry Menze at 559-0723 or Maui District Manager Nicholas Giaconi at 243-5824 at least one week prior to the designated date and time of the meeting.