Getting out of doors and enjoying Hawai'i's natural beauty is a cornerstone to a healthy life and sustainable living. The Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) Division of State Parks, as part of their Recreational Renaissance initiative, just made the logistics of camping in state parks that much easier. Instead of heading down to State Park offices to acquire permits in person, the process has gone on-line and now residents and visitors can prepare for a camping trip with a click of the mouse.
On March 22, DLNR launched a new, on-line camping and lodging reservation and permit system for Hawai'i's State Parks, which also accepts payment by credit card. The new on-line system eliminates the need to physically visit State Park offices, to call and ask for campsite and cabin availability, or to mail in permit applications and payment. The on-line system also saves DLNR staff time and costs spent on processing mailed or faxed permit applications and payments for camping and lodging reservations.
If you'd still prefer to make reservations in person at state offices, the personal same-day permit service will still be offered. But the department is doing away with mail-in requests.
"If there were any questions about whether the public would embrace the system, they were quickly answered," said Dan Quinn, State Parks administrator. "On the first full day the site went live, 93 permits for camping and lodging were issued on-line to Internet users in Hawai'i and around the world, compared to 15 that were issued to walk-in customers."
In conjunction with the new permitting convenience, increased camping and lodging fees went into effect, the first increase in 10 years. The increase in fees will be applied to park operations, including improvements and maintenance of camping and lodging areas.
"We are optimistic that this faster, streamlined service will also encourage greater camper compliance in obtaining permits, and reduce overuse and impacts to the natural resources at popular camp sites," said Quinn.
DLNR's Division of Forestry and Wildlife plans to follow suit and will also implement an on-line permit reservation system for state forest reserve campsites and cabins, modeled after the State Park's new "Wiki Permit" site.