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Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park July 2015 Hawaiian Cultural & After Dark in the Park Programs

June 20, 2015

Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park continues its tradition of sharing Hawaiian culture and After Dark in the Park programs with the community and visitors in July. All programs are free, but park entrance fees apply. Programs are co-sponsored by the Hawai‘i Pacific Parks Association, and your $2 donation helps support park programs.  Mark the calendar for these upcoming events:

‘Ohe Kāpala. Learn to craft beautiful designs on a bamboo stamp to embellish cloth. Join staff from Hawai‘i Pacific Parks Association who will share the traditional art of ‘ohe kāpala, bamboo stamping. Part of Hawai‘i Volcanoes’ ongoing ‘Ike Hana No‘eau “Experience the Skillful Work” workshops. Free.
When: Wed., July 8 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Where: Kīlauea Visitor Center lānai

Ranger Rebecca helps keiki learn about ohe kapala, or bamboo stamp art. NPS Photo/Jay Robinson

Ranger Rebecca helps keiki learn about ohe kapala, or bamboo stamp art. NPS Photo/Jay Robinson

How Do We View Kīlauea? Join us for a deliberative discussion with Kumu Hula Manaiakalani Kalua and historian Philip K. Wilson, on Kīlauea’s place in Hawaiian culture and the history of science, and where the two perspectives intersect and encounter one another. Manaiakalani Kalua is a kumu hula, and a faculty member of the I Ola Haloa, Center for Hawai‘i Life Styles, Hawai‘i Community College. Philip K. Wilson is professor of History at East Tennessee State University, and has been a visiting professor at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa.  One of his interests is in Hawaiian history, comparing the significance of the volcano Kīlauea during the 19th century from the perspectives of naturalists, missionaries, and native Hawaiians. This program is co-sponsored by Hawai‘i Council for the Humanities, and University of Hawai‘i at Hilo, and funded in part by the Sidney Stern Memorial Trust. Part of Hawai‘i Volcanoes’ ongoing After Dark in the Park series. Free.
When: Tues., July 14 from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Where: Kīlauea Visitor Center Auditorium

Halemaumau aglow

Kīlauea volcano’s summit eruption from Halema‘uma‘u with Jaggar Museum and USGS HVO. NPS Photo/Janice Wei

Hawaiian Ethnobotany.  Learn about the uses and cultural importance of native plants and introduced Polynesian plants in Hawai‘i.  Join rangers from Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park as they share their knowledge and love of Hawaiian culture. Engage in this hands-on event and leave with treasured ‘ike (wisdom) and a handmade Hawaiian craft of your own.
When: Wed., July 22 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Where: Kīlauea Visitor Center lānai

weaving lauhala

Lauahla weaving, one of many uses of native and indigenous plants in Hawai‘i. NPS Photo/Jay Robinson

Halema‘uma‘u Lava Lake of Old

June 19, 2015

Volcano Watch (http://hvo.wr.usgs.gov/volcanowatch/) is a weekly article and activity update written by scientists at the U.S. Geological Survey`s Hawaiian Volcano Observatory. 

The dramatic opening of the Overlook crater within Halema‘uma‘u Crater on March 19, 2008, heralded a new period of activity for long time Kīlauea Volcano watchers.

Halema‘uma‘u in 2008.

Halema‘uma‘u in 2008. Photo/Charlene Meyers

Over the next several years, nearly continuous eruptive activity formed an active lava lake in the new crater. An active lava lake is one that overlies its vent, which constantly supplies lava to the lake and drains lava from the lake. This circulation keeps lava in the lake hot and also generally keeps it from spilling from the crater. An active lava lake contrasts with a “passive” lava lake, which is simply a pool of lava formed when lava flows into a depression.

The active lava lake in Overlook crater is now the second largest lava lake on Earth, about 170 m by 220 m (560 ft by 720 ft) across. The lake is more than 100 m (328 ft) deep and Overlook crater itself deepened by 8 m (26 ft) in late April and early May 2015, when overflows onto the floor of Halema‘uma‘u built the rim higher.

Visitors to the summit of Kīlauea are now accustomed to the spectacular nighttime glow above the lake as it rises and falls in concert with summit inflation and deflation, as well as with expansion and episodic escape of gas bubbles.

Although relatively new to most of us, churning lava lakes are certainly not new to Halema‘uma‘u Crater. Indeed, from 1823 through 1924, a lava lake (or lakes) was nearly always present in the caldera, generally inside Halema‘uma‘u. Short-lived lava lakes played in Halema‘uma‘u several times between 1924 and 1968. Much of the time, however, visitors witnessed a scene quite different from today.

Halema‘uma‘u lava lake, circa 1918

Looking southwest across the surface of Halema‘uma‘u lava lake on January 23, 1918. Jagged “crags” of stranded, solidified lava rise as much as 30 m (100 ft) above the surface of the lake. A natural levee separates the smooth surface of the active lava lake from overflows of pāhoehoe in foreground. Photo by Thomas A. Jaggar, Jr.

As one example, this nearly century-old print shows Halema‘uma‘u when much more of its floor was covered by a lava lake compared to today. Towering bodies of solidified lava called “crags” rise above the lake surface like battleships on the sea. At times these crags were so high that they could be seen by spectators at the old Volcano House nearly 3 km (2 mi) away. Visitors could sometimes view lava fountaining and hear noises of splashing lava from the hotel. Today, the clatter of breaking and falling rocks is, with favorable wind, audible outside Jaggar Museum, and the overflows in April–May were visible from many caldera vantage points.

In the early 1900s, the lava lake inside Halema‘uma‘u resembled a dynamic body of water in many ways. Thomas A. Jaggar, founder of the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory, used terms such as cove, bay, and inlet to describe lava pools and other features in the lake. The lava lake was typically impounded by levees made by overflows of lava from the lake, just as overflows of silt-laden water create levees along the Mississippi River.

This photograph shows what was known as the Southeast Crag, an 11-m- (36-ft-) high peak of solidified lava that had been twisted and tilted upward. As of yet, we’ve not seen any similar features developed in the current lava lake within Overlook crater. This may be because the present lake is impounded by the walls of Overlook crater, not by its own natural levees, which can change configuration and location with time. If such self-impoundment should develop in the Overlook lava lake, we may once again see crags, bays, and inlets.

We will share more of the rich photographic record of Halema‘uma‘u lava lakes from the last century in future Volcano Watch columns.  Although they lack the vivid and mesmerizing colors of modern photographs, there is a stark beauty in these crisp, black and white scenes of lava in its myriad forms that we find equally compelling.

Halema‘uma‘u at night from Jaggar Museum

The evening glow of the lava lake from Jaggar Museum observation deck. Lava overfilled the vent rim in Spring 2015, and spilled onto the floor of Halema‘uma‘u Crater. This photo was taken May 14, 2015. Photo/Alex Werjefelt

Kīlauea Activity Update
Kīlauea’s summit lava lake level fluctuated over the past week with changes in summit inflation and deflation, but remained well below the rim of the Overlook crater. During the past week the lake ranged between 40 and 65 m (130–210 ft) below the current floor of Halema‘uma‘u.

Kīlauea’s East Rift Zone lava flow continues to feed widespread breakouts northeast of Puʻu ʻŌʻō. Active flows remain within about 8 km (5 mi) of Puʻu ʻŌʻō.

One felt earthquake was reported on the Island of Hawai‘i in the past week. On Friday, June 12, 2015, at 1:07 p.m., HST, a magnitude-2.3 earthquake occurred 8.0 km (5.0 mi) east of Waimea at a depth of 13.0 km (8.1 mi).

Please visit the HVO website (http://hvo.wr.usgs.gov) for past Volcano Watch articles, Kīlauea daily eruption updates and other volcano status reports, current volcano photos, recent earthquakes, and more; call (808) 967-8862 for a Kīlauea summary update; email questions to askHVO@usgs.gov.

Park Summit Road To Close During Wide Load Transport

June 18, 2015

Crater Road (Rt. 378) and Haleakalā National Park’s summit road will close to visitor traffic while a slow moving convoy transports extremely wide loads to the Daniel K. Inouye Solar Telescope near the volcano’s summit. The roads will be closed to visitors from 10pm on Wednesday, June 24, through 2pm on Thursday, June 25. The summit will not be accessible for Thursday sunrise viewing.

Back country permits will be given out at Headquarters Visitor Center (at 7000 feet of elevation), from 2pm-4:30 pm on Thursday. However, backpackers planning to hike into the crater on Thursday are strongly urged to obtain their permits a day in advance. Visitors who paid an entrance fee on Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday (June 23, 24, 25) will have a one-day extension on the usual three-day pass. The extension will apply to both the Kīpahulu and Summit Districts.

Although the park road to the summit will re-open at 2pm on Thursday, the Haleakalā Visitor Center (at 9740 feet of elevation), will remain closed all day.

The Advanced Technology Solar Telescope (ATST) Project is located outside of park boundaries. The convoy’s travel through the park is being allowed via Special Use Permit.  The convoy will transport an 18-foot wide load and travel at 2 to 5 mph. The road precautions are in place due to the size of the convoy and narrowness of the roads. The convoy will include three semi-truck trailers and various support vehicles.

National Park Offers Free Saturday Hikes

June 15, 2015

The National Park of American Samoa will offer free ranger-led Saturday hikes from late-June through mid-September. Free shuttles will transport hikers from Pago Pago to the trails. Interested participants are required to sign up in advance.  
These hikes provide participants with opportunities to experience their own local national park within lush tropical rainforests with vistas that overlook Tutuila. National park rangers will lead these hikes and share a variety of fun topics about the natural and culture wonders of American Samoa.

“We look forward to welcoming residents and visitors to their national park,” said Chief of Interpretation and Education Michael Larson. “These hikes begin our celebration of the National Park Service’s centennial celebration from now through 2016. It’s a chance for everyone to get outside to explore, connect, and find your national park.”

Space is limited to 28 participants per hike. Sign up is required by phone at 633-7082, ext. 22 or email npsa_info@nps.gov.

These Saturday hikes are made possible through the generous support of the national park’s non-profit partner—the Hawai‘i Pacific Parks Association (www.hawaiipacificparks.org).

Superintendent Scott Burch Arrives to Lead the National Park of American Samoa

June 12, 2015

This week Scott Burch arrived to serve as the superintendent of the National Park of American Samoa​. He will lead a multi-disciplinary staff of about 50 employees that specialize in administration; education; inventory and monitoring; cultural, marine, and terrestrial resources; maintenance; and visitor services. Burch is responsible for the preservation, protection, and management of the national park’s leased lands and waters on Tutuila, Ofu, and Ta’ū islands.

  

“I have strong ties to Polynesia and am very excited to be in American Samoa working with the great staff here at the National Park of American Samoa,” said Superintendent Burch.

Previously, Burch served as the management assistant at Crater Lake National Park​ in Oregon and as the concessions management specialist at Denali National Park and Preserve​ in Alaska. He brings a wealth of knowledge in sustainable economic development on public lands informed by his academic and professional work experience from both the private and public sectors.

During his graduate work at the University of Hawai’i, Burch analyzed impacts of recreational use on Hawaiian offshore island wildlife sanctuaries. He also founded a non-profit organization and a commercial ocean eco-tour company that were both based on collaborative work with local communities to conduct natural resource monitoring, advance sustainable low impact eco-tourism, and implement education programs in fragile island ecosystems. These efforts earned him the Mayor of Honolulu Special Recognition Award and a nomination for the Hawai’i Living Reef Award.

“I look forward to working together with the local communities and other park partners on protecting this special place and creating the next generation of stewards and supporters for the land and culture in and around the park,” said Superintendent Burch. “I’m particularly enthusiastic about the upcoming opportunities for locals and visitors as the National Park Service enters its second century of service to the nation during our centennial year in 2016.”

EPA honors Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park as Federal Green Challenge winner

June 11, 2015

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recognized Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park with the EPA’s Federal Green Challenge Regional Overall Achievement award as part of its efforts to encourage federal departments to reduce their environmental footprints through sustainable practices.

Platinum LEED certified

The Platinum LEED certified Visitor Emergency Operations Center at Hawaii Volcanoes NP. NPS Photo/J.Ferracane

Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park, located on Hawai‘i Island is one of the most biologically diverse landscapes in the world. Located nearly 2,500 miles from the nearest continental land mass, the park stretches from the summit of Mauna Loa at 13,677 feet down to sea level. It encompasses two of the world’s most active volcanoes, and attracts more than 1.6 million visitors a year.

“We applaud National Park Service staff for leading the way towards zero waste, and educating the millions of visitors to Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park,” said Jared Blumenfeld, EPA’s Regional Administrator for the Pacific Southwest. “This unique landscape deserves protection, and that starts with the commitment by the federal employees who work there.”

“We are extremely honored to receive this level of recognition for our climate-friendly efforts,” said Park Superintendent Cindy Orlando. “Our staff is dedicated to implementing environmentally responsible practices, and we encourage our visitors and park partners to do the same,” she said.

Cindy Orlando

Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park Superintendent, Cindy Orlando. NPS Photo/David Boyle

The park had top regional achievements in the Federal Green Challenge Waste and Purchasing target areas, increasing recycling by 167 percent to achieve an overall recycling rate of 76 percent, while decreasing copy paper purchases by 89 percent. In addition, 95 percent of its cleaning products met Environmental Preferable Purchasing criteria.

Not only does Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park walk their talk behind the scenes, but park employees reach out to the community and visitors throughout the year through programs, exhibits and presentations on the values and importance of being climate friendly and sustainable.

Climate cube

This display at the Kīlauea Visitor Center demonstrates that just one gallon of gasoline releases enough carbon monoxide to fill this cube. NPS Photo.

The park actively works to reduce their environmental footprint in all six Federal Green Challenge target areas: energy, water, waste, electronics, purchasing and transportation.

Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park is home to Hawaii’s largest public rainwater catchment system that stores 5.3 million gallons of water. The water is treated, filtered with cartridge and sand filters, and disinfected to supply water to 56 areas throughout the park. Water bottle refilling stations, posters, and sale of refillable stainless steel water bottles educate the public to “Step Away from the Plastic.”

In addition, the park’s Visitor Emergency Operations Center, which opened in 2011, earned a LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Platinum certification by the U.S. Green Building Council – and is currently the only federal building in Hawai‘i to receive LEED Platinum certification. The 4,896-square-foot building is powered by photovoltaic panels and is constructed from mostly recycled or reused materials.

Recycling cardboard

Ranger Dean recycling corrugated cardboard at Kīlauea Visitor Center. NPS photo/J.Ferracane

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park has made more great strides in conserving energy. Park rangers ride electrically powered “Eco Bikes” to their programs along the Kīlauea summit, saving fossil fuels and parking spaces. The Kīlauea Visitor Center features special yellow LED lighting to conserve energy and keep night skies dark. Solar panels generate renewable energy, and electric and alternative fuel vehicles further reduce energy and transportation-related emissions.

The Federal Green Challenge is a national effort challenging federal agencies to lead by example in reducing the Federal Government’s environmental impacts. In 2014, more than 400 participating facilities, representing nearly 1.3 million federal employees, “walked the talk” in various target areas and reduced their environmental footprint, which in many cases also resulted in significant cost savings. In EPA’s Pacific Southwest Region, $3,486,990 was saved through reductions in energy, purchasing, transportation and waste.

Click here for the e-media kit.

Eco bike

Park rangers ride electric “Eco Bikes” to reduce fossil fuel emissions, and save parking spots. NPS Photo

Reminder: Public Invited to Talk-Story Session on Hawai‘i Volcanoes NP’s Draft General Management Plan / Wilderness Study /EIS — TONIGHT

June 10, 2015

The public is invited to a talk story session about the Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park draft general management plan, wilderness study, and environmental impact statement (GMP/WS/EIS) at the Kīlauea Visitor Center, TONIGHT, June 10, 2015 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. In addition, a formal wilderness hearing will be held during this meeting to receive comments specific to the wilderness study. Park representatives will answer questions and take comments. 

General management plans are intended to be long-term documents that establish and articulate a management philosophy and framework for decision making and problem solving in our national parks. In the 548-page document, three alternatives for Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park are presented for review. Each alternative offers a different approach to protecting and managing park resources, using facilities, and providing a range of access and visitor experiences to meet the needs of local residents, off-island visitors, and students of all ages. These alternatives were developed with the intent to include and celebrate Native Hawaiian values such as mālama ʻāina (nourishing and taking care of the land) and kuleana (responsibility).

Cover of the HVNP Draft GMP/Wilderness Study and EIS

Cover of the HVNP Draft GMP/Wilderness Study and EIS

These alternatives are the result of five years of public scoping and comment, interdisciplinary research, field assessments, stakeholder discussions, and Native Hawaiian consultation and are based upon the park’s purpose and significance, issues that need to be addressed, legal mandates, and public comments provided on the preliminary alternatives.

Mauna Loa Wilderness

Mauna Loa Wilderness. NPS Photo.

We encourage everyone to give these alternatives serious consideration, take the time to comment, and continue to stay involved to help your national park determine how this national and international treasure will be protected and managed over the next 20 years.

To review the DGMP/WS/EIS, and provide comments online, go to http://parkplanning.nps.gov/havogmp.  Comments can also be mailed to Superintendent, Attn: DGMP/WS/EIS, PO Box 52, Hawaii National Park, HI 96718-0052. The public comment period will remain open through June 30, 2015.

Nēnē

Endangered nēnē at Kahuku. USGS Photo