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Hawaii board to consider nature preserve access restrictions

WAILUKU, Hawaii — Hawaii state officials are considering whether to restrict access to a nature preserve where rock climbing activities are threatening native plant species.

The Maui News reported Wednesday that the state Board of Land and Natural Resources is looking at restricting portions of the West Maui Natural Area Reserve.

The state Division of Forestry and Wildlife has asked the board to limit access to cliff areas in the Lihau section of the reserve for up to two years.

Officials say rock climbers have installed hardware and footholds in cliffs in the area.

Officials say the changes impact threatened and endangered plants such as the Maui chaff flower and the Menzies’ schiedea.

Land and natural resources board documents say modifying geological features including chipping rock for footholds is prohibited under state law.

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Information from: The Maui News, http://www.mauinews.com

The Associated Press