State urges caution, respect after Pokémon Go players wander into heiau

The state is urging gamers to be more aware of their surroundings after two people wandered into a heiau while hunting for Pokémon Go characters.

Officials say the virtual reality app has the potential to endanger public safety and created “unintended consequences,” as users visit state parks, trails, and beaches paying more attention to their electronics than trails and signs.

So they’re reminding people to practice good outdoor ethics and be mindful of where they play.

“We want and encourage people to enjoy all of the outstanding natural and cultural resources Hawaii has to offer,” said Suzanne Case, Department of Land and Natural Resources chair. “Given the release of Pokémon Go, this is an opportune time to remind everyone that these resources can and should be enjoyed in a pono way.”

The state offers the following guidelines:

  • Be safe. Use electronic devices responsibly and in emergencies to call for help. Distracted hiking, like distracted driving, can lead to accidents.
  • Stay on designated trails. Follow all signs and closures. Do not trespass, or enter natural or cultural areas where access is prohibited.
  • Carry out what you carry in. Don’t leave any trash.

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