Liability concerns have driven the State of Hawaii to shut down numerous hikes and climbing areas in the past year and a half as a result of two large 2012 settlements ($20+million) for hiking related deaths. The good news is the climbing community and other sports enthusiasts collaborated with certain legislators and the Hawaii Attorney General’s office to develop a new bill, Senate Bill #SB1007 (HD1), currently up for reconsideration by Hawaii’s 2014 legislature.
Because our mountain sports are inherently risky and injuries and deaths on State lands occur regularly, the Attorney General’s office has said this legislation must pass if they are to reopen closed areas and to prevent additional closures. If you do not want to see more of Hawaii’s public lands shut down, please tell Hawaii's legislators how you feel.
1) See the attached sample testimony letter, copy it, click this link: http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/measure_indiv.aspx?billtype=SB&billnumber=1007&year=2014 this will take you to the Legislature’s website for submitting testimony on this specific bill. Fill out the form, and submit the sample letter. Of course, we welcome and encourage you to modify the sample letter or write and submit your own.
2) In addition to the above, take just a few seconds to click this link: http://www.change.org/petitions/hawaii-state-legislature-please-pass-sb1007-sd1-and-protect-access-to-public-lands-in-hawaii which will lead you to our most recent change.org petition.
3) Please forward this post by email, tweet, Facebook, etc., to everyone you know including mainland friends or related interest groups (eco-tourism is an important part of the local economy, too) that have interest in keeping Hawaii’s public mountain areas and sports open and ask them to support this effort.
We are optimistic that we can get SB 1007 HD1 through the legislative process this session and protect our access to public lands. However, we really need everyone who enjoys the mountains to please join us and support this effort!