I can hardly believe how blessed my girls are in Hawaii. The biggest dissapointment Lauren had in going to Hawaii was not being able to hunt. Lauren called me last week and said she need her gun. My daughter Nicole works with a family member from Niihau and they are invited to spend a week on the island in Janurary. Nicole's not a hunter but I'm sure she will have a blast. Lauren gets to hunt for the weekend. God Bless My Girls. They Rock
Location 21°54′N 160°10′W
Area 69.5 sq mi (180 km2)
Area rank 7th largest Hawaiian Island
Highest elevation 1,250 ft (381 m)
Highest point Mt. Pānīʻau
Flower Pūpū keʻokeʻo (white shell)
Color Keʻokeʻo" (White)
Population 130 (as of 2009)
Density 1.9 /sq mi (0.73 /km2)
Niʻihau or Niihau (/ˈniːhaʊ/; Hawaiian: [ˈniʔiˈhau]) is the westernmost and seventh largest of the inhabited Hawaiian Islands in the U.S. state of Hawaiʻi, lying 17.5 miles (15.2 nmi; 28.2 km) southwest of Kauaʻi across the Kaulakahi Channel and having an area of 69.5 square miles (180 km2). Several intermittent playa lakes provide wetland habitats for the Hawaiian coot, the black-winged stilt, and the Hawaiian duck. The island is designated as critical habitat for Brighamia insignis, an endemic and endangered species of Hawaiian lobelioid. The United States Census Bureau defines Niʻihau and the neighboring island and State Seabird Sanctuary of Lehua as Census Tract 410 of Kauai County, Hawaii. Its 2000 census population was 160; As of June 2009, the population was 130.
Elizabeth Sinclair purchased Niʻihau in 1864 from the Kingdom of Hawaii and private ownership passed on to her descendants, the Robinson family. During World War II, the island was the site of the Niʻihau Incident: A Japanese navy fighter pilot crashed on the island and terrorized its residents for a week after the attack on Pearl Harbor. The people of Niʻihau are known for their gemlike lei pūpū (shell lei) craftsmanship, and speak Hawaiian as a primary language. The island is generally off-limits to all but relatives of the island's owners, U.S. Navy personnel, government officials and invited guests, giving it the nickname "The Forbidden Isle." Beginning in 1987, a limited number of supervised activity tours and hunting safaris have opened to tourists. The island is currently managed by Bruce and Keith Robinson.
See also: List of beaches in Niihau
Niʻihau is located about 18 miles (29 km) west of Kauaʻi, and the tiny, uninhabited island of Lehua lies 0.7 miles (0.61 nmi; 1.1 km) north of Niʻihau. Niʻihau's dimensions are 6.2 miles by 18.6 miles (10 km x 30 km). The maximum elevation (Paniau) is 1,280 feet (390 m). The island is about 4.9 million years old, making it geologically younger than the 5-million-year-old neighboring island of Kauaʻi to the northeast. Niʻihau consists of one extinct volcano that had a large landslide to the east.
The island is relatively arid because it lies in the rain shadow of Kauaʻi, and lacks the elevation needed to catch significant amounts of trade wind rainfall. Niʻihau therefore, depends for its rain on winter Kona storms, when more northerly weather systems intrude into the region. As such, the island is subject to long periods of drought. Historical droughts on Niʻihau have been recorded several times, one in 1792 by Captain James Cook's former junior officer, George Vancouver, who had been told that the people of Niʻihau had abandoned the island because of a severe drought and had moved to Kauaʻi to escape famine.
Flora and faun
View of the rugged cliffs of windward Niʻihau (the northeastern shore)
As an arid island, Niʻihau was barren of trees for centuries – Captain James Cook reported it treeless in 1778. Aubrey Robinson, grandfather of current owners Bruce and Keith Robinson, planted 10,000 trees per year during much of his ownership of the island; Robinson's afforestation efforts increased rainfall in the dry climate. Island co-owner Keith Robinson, a noted conservationist, preserved and documented many of Niʻihau's natural plant resources. The island is designated as a critical habitat for the ʻōlulu, an endemic and endangered species of Hawaiian lobelioid. Aylmer robinsonii, a Pritchardia palm tree named for Keith Robinson's uncle Aylmer Robinson, is an endangered species native to Niʻihau.
Several bird species thrive on Niʻihau. Intermittent playa lakes on the island provide wetland habitats for the ʻalae keʻokeʻo (Hawaiian coot), the āeʻo (black-winged stilt), and the koloa maoli (Hawaiian duck). The critically endangered Hawaiian monk seal (Monachus schauinslandi) is found in high numbers on Niʻihau's shores. Robinson states that Niʻihau's secluded shoreline offers them a safe haven from habitat encroachments. According to Robinson, conditions there are better than the government refuges of the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands. When the Robinsons originally purchased Niʻihau, no monk seals were present, because they lived in the northwestern part of the Hawaiian island chain, Necker and Midway islands. They have been relocated to the main Hawaiian island chain by NOAA fisheries over the past thirty years, and some have found homes on Niʻihau.
Big game herds, imported from stock on Molokaʻi Ranch in recent years, roam Niʻihau's forests and flatlands. Eland and aoudad are abundant, along with oryxes, wild boars and feral sheep. These big game herds provide income from hunting safari tourism.
Kamehameha managed to unify all of the islands by 1795, except for Kauaʻi and Niʻihau: Two attempts to conquer those islands
A group of villagers at Puʻuwai Beach settlement, Niʻihau in 1885. Photograph taken by Francis Sinclair, son of Elizabeth McHutchison Sinclair.
Elizabeth McHutchison Sinclair (1800—1892) purchased Niʻihau and parts of Kauaʻi from Kamehameha V in 1864 for $10,000 in gold. Sinclair chose Niʻihau over other options, including Waikīkī and Pearl Harbor. By around 1875, Niʻihau's population consisted of about 350 Native Hawaiians, with 20,000 sheep. This era marked the end of the art of Hawaiian mat—weaving made famous by the people of Niʻihau. Makaloa (Cyperus laevigatus), a native sedge, used to grow on the edges of Niʻihau's three intermittent lakes. The stems were harvested and used to weave moena makaloa (mats), considered the "finest sleeping mats in Polynesia". The mats were valued by aliʻi and foreign visitors alike, but by the end of the 19th century, Hawaiians had stopped weaving makaloa due to changes in population, culture, economics, and the environment.
In 1915, Sinclair's grandson Aubrey Robinson closed the island to most visitors. Even relatives of the inhabitants could visit only by special permission. Upon Aubrey's death in 1939 the island passed to his son Aylmer, and in 1968 to Aylmer's youngest brother Lester. Upon Lester's wife Helen's death, the island passed to his sons Bruce and Keith Robinson, the current co-owners. (See Owners' family tree)
Niʻihau played a small role during the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. In what has come to be called the Niʻihau Incident (or the Battle of Niʻihau), an off-course Japanese pilot crash-landed on the island and was captured by locals. The pilot escaped with the assistance of local Japanese residents, but was later recaptured and killed. It was the subject of a popular song, "You Can't Conquer Niihau, Nohow".
Despite its self-imposed isolation, Niʻihau has a long-standing relationship with the U.S. military dating from 1924. There is a small Navy installation on the island. No military personnel are permanently stationed there, but the U.S. military has used the island for training special operations units, which included hiring Hawaiians that live on Ni'ihau as "enemy" trackers.
See also: Politics of Hawaii
The island of Niʻihau was considered as a possible location for the United Nations headquarters in 1944 by Franklin D. Roosevelt. Roosevelt had visited Hawaiʻi in 1934. Under Cordell Hull, Roosevelt's Secretary of State, the State Department seriously studied the proposal.
In 2004 President George W. Bush received all but one of the 40 votes cast on the island. The remaining vote was cast for Green Party nominee David Cobb. 51 registered voters did not cast ballots. In 2006 Dan Akaka received 33 votes in the 2006 Senate election to Cynthia Thielen's 3. In 2008, Niʻihau's precinct was one of only 3 of Hawaiʻi's 538 precincts to vote for John McCain over Barack Obama. McCain received 35 votes, Obama received 4, and Cynthia McKinney received 1.
Navy contractors from PMRF arrive at Paniau Ridge on Niʻihau in an Agusta A109 helicopter. The seabird sanctuary island of Lehua can be seen in the background.
Niʻihau has approximately 130 permanent inhabitants, nearly all of whom are Native Hawaiians who live in the island's main settlement of Puʻuwai. Some support themselves largely by subsistence fishing and farming, while others depend on welfare. All residents live rent-free, and meat is free. Niʻihau has no telephone services and no paved roads. Horses are the main form of transportation; bicycles are also used. There are no power lines; solar power provides all electricity. There is no plumbing or running water on the island. Water comes from rainwater catchment. The Robinson family established most of these conditions. There is no hotel or general store; barges deliver groceries from Kauaʻi, often purchased by relatives, with free shipping.
Residents generally speak the Niihau dialect of Hawaiian as their first language, in part encouraged by terms in the original purchase contract which obligated the new owners to help preserve Hawaiian culture and tradition. The Niʻihau dialect differs from modern Hawaiian in that, for example, [t] and [ɾ] are the most common realizations of the phonemes /k/ and /l/. Niʻihau is the only island where Hawaiian is spoken as a primary language. Linguistic evidence and oral tradition maintain that the Niʻihau dialect is closer to the Hawaiian register spoken during the time of discovery. English is the second language.
Some residents have radio and television sets, although limited reception effectively limits the latter to watching VHS tapes and DVDs. Niʻihau is subject to regular droughts that occasionally force the population to evacuate to Kauaʻi temporarily, until rainfall replenishes their water supply. Residents commonly also commute to Kauaʻi for work, medical care, or school, and many of them call both islands home. To avoid a long boat ride, the island's owners maintain an Agusta A109 helicopter for emergencies and for transporting Navy contractors and residents to and from Kauaʻi. Helicopter tours and safaris help offset the costs of this service.
A form of ipu art is known to have developed solely on the island of Niʻihau. In this method, after a design is carved in the skin of a fresh gourd, it is filled with dye which, after several weeks, changes the color of the uncarved portions of the surface where the skin is intact. Hawaiian music plays a central role on the island, with a cappella singers making use of only two or three tones and changing rhythms. Ukulele and guitar playing is nearly ubiquitous among the islanders, and there are three separate styles of slack-key music, with an older style originating from Kohala.
The Hawaii Department of Education operates the Niʻihau School, a K-12 school. Academic subjects and computer literacy are combined with teaching students to "thrive from the land." The school is powered entirely by solar power. The number of students varies from 25 to 50 since families often travel between Niʻihau and Kauaʻi. Schoolchildren may stay with relatives in west Kauaʻi, where they attend one of two Niʻihau-focused public charter schools. At the Ke Kula Niʻihau o Kekaha school, students speak primarily the Niʻihau dialect through the early elementary grades, and then Hawaiian and English through grade 12. The school has a digital recording and video system, which helps to preserve and teach traditional Niʻihau and Hawaiian culture. At the other west Kauaʻi school, Kula Aupuni Niʻihau a Kahelelani Aloha (KANAKA), English is used in all grades, while still supporting the Niʻihau dialect. Both schools foster the culture, values, and spirituality of Niʻihau.
Approximately 80% of Niʻihau's income comes from a small Navy installation atop 1,300-foot-high cliffs. Remote-controlled tracking devices are used for testing and training with Kaua'i's Pacific Missile Range Facility. Modern missile defense tests are conducted at the site for the U.S. and its allies. The installation brings in millions of dollars a year, and provides the island with a stable economic base without the complexity of tourism or industrial development. The sale of shells and shell jewelry is an additional source of income. Its beaches are known for their pūpū, tiny shells that wash onto shore during winter months. Species used for shell leis includes momi (Euplica varians), laiki or rice shells (Mitrella margarita) and kahelelani (Leptothyra verruca). The shells and jewelry are so popular that Governor Linda Lingle signed a bill in 2004 to protect lei pūpū o Niʻihau (Niʻihau shell leis) from counterfeiting. A single, intricate Niʻihau shell lei can sell for thousands of dollars.
Trash deposited by the ocean on a windward Niʻihau beach
Many residents of Niʻihau were once employees of Niʻihau Ranch, farming cattle and sheep until the Robinsons shut down the operation in 1999. It had not been profitable for most of the 20th century. Honey cultivation was also no longer viable by 1999. Kiawe charcoal was once a large-scale export, but aggressive Mexican price competition ended that as well. Mullet farming has been popular on Niʻihau, with ponds and lakes stocked with baby mullet, which reach 9—10 pounds (4.1—4.5 kg) apiece before being harvested and sold on Kauaʻi and Oʻahu.
Bruce Robinson, Niʻihau's co-owner, is seeking and considering new forms of non-invasive income generation. Depending on feasibility, impact, and ecological footprint on the ecosystem and culture, possibilities include: JP-4 or JP8 generation by the lignocellulose process; military, including a possible runway; and windmill energy production. Robinson has declined offers to purchase sand from Niʻihau's beaches, because of adverse environmental effects.
Niʻihau's owners have offered half-day helicopter and beach tours of the island since 1987, although contact with residents is avoided and no accommodations exist. Since 1992, hunting safaris provide income via tourists who pay to visit the island to hunt eland, aoudad, and oryx, as well as wild sheep and boars. Any meat the hunters do not take with them is given to the village
Last edited by TopPredator; 05-13-2017 at 02:50 PM.
TW200 "Little Brute" is gone - Waiting to see what 2016 brings (WR250R/CRF250 RALLY/KTM390/Africa Twin or E-bicycle?)
" Hunt a Pig,Save a Reef" Lots of wild boar in the Islands causing some reef smothering siltation from run-off.
Stayed with a friend on the Big Island and was surprised how much of her garden could get rooted up in a single night. Hiking the back-country I once came across two ragged pig hunting characters who looked like they were right out of Central Casting... " Send me a Nazi U-boat captain who scuttled his boat and his first mate"
How To Hunt Wild Boar In Hawaii | HuntWildPig.com
Lauren going to go native and hunt traditionally using a knife instead of a gun?
Lauren going to go native and hunt traditionally using a knife instead of a gun?[/QUOTE]
She's not that tough but she skins everything she shoots. I bought the girls Ruger .243 rifles for there 16th birthday. I'm going to zero it in and ship it although I'll probably have to send her ammo as well.
You're a good father Top. Hope the girls have a good time on Niihau. It sounds like a rare treat to be guests there.
Edit: I was joking of course about the knife hunting, imagine there is a bit of a learning curve there.
Hawaii sure has some notable laws I'm sure Top and family already know.
Last edited by Fred; 10-08-2015 at 09:27 PM.
Native way of hunting pig is with spear and knife. The ugliest man I have ever seen in my life was a pig hunter on Oahu.
He was so ugly I couldn't even discern what race he was. He wore a military torso harness that carried a huge knife and a .357 revolver. The pistol told that he was an outlaw living wild.
He also wore ragged tennis shoes, very ragged shorts, and a lot of dirt, nothing else. He had a very dangerous air about him, almost feral.
I was in a squatters shack drinking with a few friends when he slipped in out of the dark. He spoke with one of the squatters a few minutes then left taking his large ugly dangerous looking
dog with him as he slipped back into the dark. This was west of Kaena cave on the west end of the island, no one legally lives there.
Thanks Fred, Marian and I have enjoyed raising them. Her 2. My 2 and our twins. Marian is my high school sweetheart. We found each other again after 19 years. I ask her to marry me in just 17 days.
TopPredtor, the pictures you have posted show a very lovely family. I don't see how that could have happened since you resemble Borneo so much. Those beautiful daughters must take after Marian.
Yes I give Marian all the credit when it comes to beauty. It was interesting meeting Kurt last February on our winter hike. We're brothers from different mothers.