February 13,  2019

The University of  Hawaiʻi is asking for public comment on the latest draft of the proposed administrative rules for public and commercial activities on  UH-managed lands on Maunakea on  Hawaiʻi Island. The rules are an essential resource management tool.
The current request for public input is part of an informal consultation process that includes meetings with various stakeholder groups. The latest draft will be updated based on the feedback received ahead of a second round of formal public hearings, tentatively scheduled for spring. The public is asked to participate in the next round of public hearings, even if they submitted feedback during the informal process.
The initial draft was updated after the first round of formal public hearings in September 2018 in Honolulu, Hilo and Waikoloa on  Hawaiʻi Island, and Kahului, Maui. Among the issues raised and addressed were concerns regarding Native Hawaiian rights and customary practices, limiting the use of cell phones and flashlights, requiring permits for large groups and allowing only four-wheel drive vehicles above the mid-level facility.
The purpose of the proposed rules (under Section 20-26-1) is to "provide for the proper use, management, and protection of cultural, natural, and scientific resources of the  UH management areas; to promote public safety and welfare by regulating public and commercial activity within the  UHmanagement areas; to ensure safe and appropriate access to the  UH management areas for the public; and to foster co-management with the  Hawaiʻi State Department of Land and Natural Resources in  UHmanagement areas."

To provide comments on the informal draft, please submit (1) via email at  [email protected]; or (2) in writing to the  UH Government Relations Office, 2442 Campus Road, Administrative Services Building 1-101, Honolulu,  HI, 96822. The deadline for informal comments is Friday, March 15, 2019, at 4:30 p.m.  UH plans to present a draft of the rules to the Board of Regents for consideration before holding the second round of public hearings in the first quarter of 2019.

The university subleases 11,288 acres from the  Hawaiʻi State Department of Land and Natural Resources, essentially all of the land above the 11,500-foot elevation of Maunakea except for the 2,033 acre Mauna Kea Ice Age Natural Area Reserve.


The Office of Maunakea Management is charged with day-to-day management of the Mauna Kea Science Reserve as prescribed in the Master Plan. The adoption of the Mauna Kea Science Reserve Master Plan by the University of Hawaii Board of Regents in June 2000 marked a critical milestone in the management of Maunakea.


Meetings and public hearings spanning a period of nearly two years went into the formulation of the Master Plan, which established management guidelines for the next 20 years. The Master Plan reflected the community's deeply rooted concerns over the use of Maunakea, including respect for Hawaiian cultural beliefs, protection of environmentally sensitive habitat, recreational use of the mountain, and astronomy research.   


It places the focus of responsibility with the University of Hawaii at Hilo (UHH). The UH-Hilo Chancellor established the Office of Maunakea Management and the Board of Regents established the Maunakea Management Board in the fall of 2000. The Maunakea Management Board in turn formed Kahu Ku Mauna, a council comprised of Hawaiian cultural resource persons to serve as advisors.
OMKM Mission

To achieve harmony, balance and trust in the sustainable management and stewardship of Mauna Kea Science Reserve through community involvement and programs that protect, preserve and enhance the natural, cultural and recreational resources of Maunakea while providing a world-class center dedicated to education, research and astronomy.


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