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Copyright © 2019 Friends of Ha'ikū Stairs

Saving the Ha'ikū Stairs for Current and Future Generations

     Friends of Haʻikū Stairs was formed as a non-profit group in 1987 in order to protect the historic Haʻikū Stairs. That mission has never been more critical now that the Board of Water Supply have completed their Draft Environmental Impact Study (DEIS) with the goal of removing the Stairs. With the decision to remove the Stairs coming as soon as the end of the year, only your support, and that of the Mayor, can save the Stairs from senseless destruction. The Mayor has said that he would like to take the Stairs from BWS and operate them under managed access, but he is not going to make a controversial and politically risky decision unless he knows the public is behind him.  That’s where you come in. If you want to save the Stairs, you have to do it. If you’re hoping someone else is going to do it, you’ll wake up one day and they’ll be gone. So now is the time to tell the Mayor how important the Stairs are to you, and why they must be saved for future generations. We have listed below some points that you might want to make, but it’s also very important that you tell him, if you can, what the Stairs mean to you, on a personal and emotional level.  If he sees how much you care, he will too.


Now is the time to contact your government representatives to say that you want the Haʻikū Stairs saved. 


Here are some points you can mention:


  1. As per the findings of the BWS's DEIS: “The Haʻikū Stairs was built in the 1940s, is defined as a historic property per §6E-2, HRS, and retains its historic integrity.” (Vol 2, p. 701). Why would you destroy a historic structure, especially if you could repair it for less?

  2. The Haʻikū Stairs represent one of the safest hiking trails in Hawaii. There having been no documented serious injuries or deaths resulting from accidents on the Stairs

  3. Reopening the Stairs under managed access would provide unique, internationally recognized, educational, cultural, and recreational opportunities and save one of the world’s top 10 best hikes on the National Geographic Endangered Trails list.

  4. The Kāneʻohe Neighborhood Board resolved in May 17, 2017 to support reopening the stairs under a controlled and managed access plan that respects the privacy rights of residents of the Haʻikū Village neighborhood

  5. We have read the DEIS report and we agree that managed access (conveyance alternative) is by far the best alternative with a total score of 7 good as compared to removal with a score of only 4.

  6. FHS has a managed access plan in place that is in alignment with the recommended Poʻokela Street access route and can be adjusted to meet all the listed concerns.

  7. FHS has years of experience leading people on legal maintenance climbs on the stairs, carrying out repairs to individual modules, controlling invasive species, and mitigating run-off concerns. 

Friends of Ha'ikū Stairs advocate reopening the Ha'ikū Stairs under managed access

**Please Note: The stairs are currently closed and illegal to access, no matter how you access them. We do not provide information that will aid people in breaking the law**

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Contact the following: 

Mayor Kirk Caldwell mayor@honolulu.gov  (808) 768-4141; Fax: (808) 768-5552

City Council Chair Ikaika Anderson (District 3 – Kaneohe)  ianderson@honolulu.gov (808) 768-5003

All other 8 district Council members information can be found here.

What We Do
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How We Do It

THROUGH THE SALE of Merchandise

Friends of Ha'ikū Stairs is an all-volunteer 501(c)(3) organization. All proceeds go directly to our mission to protect the Ha'ikū Stairs and its environment for current and future generations. Your purchases are tax-deductible. Prices include shipping and packaging to all US locations. Please contact us for international orders.

PETITION the Board of Water Supply & the Mayor

We started a petition on Change.org in 2015 in order to garner support for Saving the Stairs. By July 2nd 2019 when we delivered our petition to the Board of Water Supply, and handed a second copy to the Mayor's office, our petition included 11,650 signatures of support, as well as 171 pages of comments from supporters. Mahalo to all of you who contributed towards this effort.

REACH OUT to the community and to local representatives

Our board members sit on community groups and liaise with local representatives to promote managed access as a sensible alternative to destruction. We make presentations at conservation group meetings and discuss our vision for the future of the Stairs and Ha'ikū Valley with local community groups with with the goal of Saving the Stairs and its environment for current and future generations.


We hold rallies and events in order to raise awareness for the plight of the Stairs. Through sign-waving and public events such as the Save the Stairs rally at Hawaiian Brian's in 2019, we show that there is widespread support for saving this historic and much-treasured monument.


As many of you may know, the Board of Water Supply (BWS) recently released its Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) on the removal of the Haʻikū Stairs (you can access more information about the study here).


We at Friends of Haʻikū Stairs are pleased with the quality and level of detail in this study. We are also pleased with the findings: in the comparison of alternatives by project objectives (Table 6-14), the Conveyance Alternative (or the reopening of the Stairs under controlled and managed access) had by far the highest rating of all the alternatives, including the proposed action of removing the Stairs. In a nutshell, the DEIS concluded that managed access best meets BWS’s objectives.


The City has said they would like to take over the Stairs and have them run under managed access, but because they will not make a firm commitment to do so, as stated in the DEIS: “…removal of Haʻikū Stairs remains BWS’ Proposed Action.”  


Moreover, the DEIS concluded that you're not likely to miss the Stairs, because "... removal of Haʻikū Stairs will not significantly impact the availability of recreation opportunities on windward O‘ahu…”. 


FHS believes that the City wants to do the right thing, but they need to know that the public is behind them. Without significant input from the public—as well as support from the Mayor, City Council, and Governor—the BWS will move forward with their plans to remove the Haʻikū Stairs. 

Contact Us


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