Fact Sheet: President Clinton: Protecting Hawaii's Heritage, Environment (11/13/00)
                             November 13, 2000

Today, President Clinton announced new protection for the centuries-old Ala
Kahakai trail and cleared the way for the expansion of the Hawaii Volcanoes
National Park, both located on the Big Island. President Clinton signed S.
700, the Ala Kahakai National Historic Trail Act, and S. 938, the Hawaii
Volcanoes National Park Adjustment Act. In doing so, he recognized the
leadership of Senators Akaka and Inouye for their work on behalf of this

Protecting an Historic Hawaiian Treasure
The Ala Kahakai National Historic Trail Act designates this 175-mile
ancient footpath in Hawaii as a National Historic Trail, and directs the
Secretary of the Interior to administer the trail and to encourage
communities, adjacent landowners and Native Hawaiians to participate in the
trail?s maintenance and development.

The Ala Kahakai (Trail by the Sea) trail, which rings the Big Island was
the major land route connecting 600 or more communities of the island
kingdom of Hawaii from 1400 to 1700. It is associated with many prehistoric
and historic housing areas of the island of Hawaii, nearly all the royal
centers, and most of the major temples of the island. Its use is also
associated with many rulers of the kingdom of Hawaii, and played a
significant part in events that affected Hawaiian history and culture, from
Captain Cook's landing and subsequent death in 1779 to Kamehameha I's rise
to power and consolidation of the Hawaiian Islands under monarchical rule.

Congress established the National Trails Systems in 1968 to provide for
recreation, public access, enjoyment, and appreciation of the "open-air,
outdoor areas and historic resources of the Nation." The Ala Kahakai
National Historic Trail joins the Appalachian, Ice Age, Juan Bautista de
Anza, Lewis and Clark, Pony Express, and Trail of Tears national historic

Expanding Hawaii Volcanoes National Park
The Hawaii Volcanoes National Park Adjustment Act authorizes the Department
of the Interior to acquire land contiguous to the existing park through
donation, exchange or purchase with donated or appropriated funds.

The Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, established in 1916, displays the
results of 70 million years of volcanism, migration, and evolution ?
processes that thrust a bare land from the sea and clothed it with complex
and unique ecosystems and a distinct human culture. The park encompasses
diverse environments that range from sea level to the summit of the earth's
most massive volcano, Mauna Loa at 13,677 feet. Kilauea, the world's most
active volcano, offers scientists insights on the birth of the Hawaiian
Islands and visitors views of dramatic volcanic landscapes. Over half of
the park is designated wilderness and provides unusual hiking and camping

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