Update on University's Administrative Rules Process for Maunakea
After much legal and administrative delays, the University of Hawaii is moving forward with the process of adopting rules governing public and commercial activities on the UH managed lands on Maunakea. UH will be scheduling public hearings in early Fall to gather feedback as part of the approval process.
The need for administrative rules for Maunakea has been recognized by the Comprehensive Management Plan and State Auditor as an important tool for managing Maunakea. Rules help state agencies carry out their organizational responsibilities under an approved framework and meet their legislative mandate.
UH has prepared a draft of proposed rules, incorporating public input and consultation with the Office of Hawaiian Affairs and the Department of Land & Natural Resources (DLNR). Kahu Ku Mauna and the Maunakea Management Board (MKMB) reviewed the draft with MKMB approving the draft and recommending to the University of Hawaii Board of Regents (BOR) that the public process move forward. Following its June meeting, the BOR received authority from the Governor to allow the University to hold public hearings on the proposed administrative rules. The draft rules include provisions for preservation of cultural, natural and scientific resources, management of public and commercial access and activities, measures for preventing the introduction of invasive species, addressing health and safety, and the administration and enforcement of the rules.
The public will have an opportunity to review and provide testimony on the proposed rules at the public hearings. "Those interested are encouraged to attend the hearings to review and provide testimony. We welcome the community's input on the proposed rules that will help protect, preserve and enhance the resources on Maunakea and provide measures for protecting the health and safety of the visiting public as well as those who work on the moutain," said Office of Maunakea Management Director Stephanie Nagata.
The proposed administrative rules for the UH managed lands on Maunakea are in accordance with Act 132 which was signed into law in 2009. Act 132 requires UH's rules to be consistent with DLNR's Forestry and Natural Area Reserve rules, and the State Constitution which protects native Hawaiians' right to exercise traditional and customary practices.
Notices for public hearing dates and locations will be announced in August.