Residence Force For New Mauna Kea Management Would Clear away UH

A working group led by Dwelling lawmakers desires to put Mauna Kea beneath new management following a long time of problems that the University of Hawaii has not carried out adequate to care for the mountain.

In a report released Friday, the team endorses creating a new governing entity controlled by a 9-member board comprised primarily of Native Hawaiians, Hawaii island people or Hawaiian cultural practitioners who would oversee an astronomy district at Mauna Kea’s summit as nicely as lands stretching down to the 6,500-foot elevation degree along the mountain’s slopes.

UH manages substantially of the lands earlier mentioned that elevation now but wouldn’t be included in this new management company. Greg Chun, UH’s executive director of the Middle for Maunakea Stewardship, acknowledged that there has been a great deal criticism levied from UH in the previous, but said the college has labored tough in the very last a number of several years to improve outreach to Hawaiian communities and take improved treatment of the mountain.

The Legislature might drive to restructure the administration of Mauna Kea next session. Cory Lum/Civil Beat/2019

Rep. Mark Nakashima, who led the operating team, claimed UH’s responsibilities would be transferred around to this new administration entity around the subsequent a few many years.

But a lot of particulars for this new point out agency even now want to be worked out ahead of lawmakers consider to established it up all through the up coming legislative session, Nakashima told reporters through a press conference Friday early morning.

There is no timeline yet for the transfer of powers among UH and the new governing entity. Lawmakers also never have very clear projections for how a lot this new agency would cost. And it’s unclear how close by non-public landowners could be influenced.

A timeline for dismantling the existing telescopes on the mountain, and a record of which of individuals 13 scopes should be decommissioned, is yet to be observed.

Nakashima claimed a large amount of these information would be sorted out when lawmakers actually generate the monthly bill that would develop this new management company. The Legislature reconvenes Jan. 19, and any proposal would need to gain acceptance from a vast majority of the Dwelling and Senate.

Rep. Mark Nakashima suggests extra aspects will appear when lawmakers draft a invoice to make the new management company. Nathan Eagle/Civil Beat/2018

In addition to suggestions for a new administration company, the Mauna Kea Doing the job Group’s report also suggests adopting Hawaiian viewpoints on environmental wellness and pure cycles to aid tutorial the function of the new company.

Pualani Kanaka‘ole Kanahele explained she is glad Hawaiians may well soon have a increased say in what takes place to Mauna Kea.

“I’m just content at the point that at this time we are authorized input into what goes on in the mountain,” she said.

Kanahele was a notable chief in the protest movement to end development of the Thirty Meter Telescope on Mauna Kea. Nakashima stated that the performing group tried using to steer obvious of conversations involving TMT because any determination on its long run would be out of the group’s regulate.

The observatories on Mauna Kea also would not have illustration on this new agency’s board. Rather, astronomers would only be ready to make suggestions to the board in an advisory capacity.

“To say that group shouldn’t have illustration is troublesome,” Chun reported.

An independent analysis of UH’s management plan discovered that community notion of UH’s management of Mauna Kea hinges on whether an individual supports astronomy. Chun stated the final decision of no matter if to continue astronomy on the summit of Mauna Kea is a community policy determination the state desires to make as a complete.

Pualani Kanaka‘ole Kanahele mentioned she is happy Hawaiians may shortly have a higher say in what happens to Mauna Kea. Screenshot/2021

UH oversees source administration of around 11,000 acres on Mauna Kea, in accordance to Chun. It is dependable for regulating obtain to specific spots of the mountain and educating the general public about Mauna Kea. The performing group proposal would search for to choose more than all those management locations from UH though also controlling supplemental condition lands on Mauna Kea that are not beneath the auspices of the university appropriate now.

Chun claimed the new entity would need to have to create a management system comparable to those people enacted by the college.

“I do not feel it’s just a make any difference of turning about recent UH managed lands that wants to be viewed as below,” Chun said. “If they are speaking about a a lot much larger place … there are enormous management implications the governing entity would require to contemplate.”

Earlier this 12 months, House Speaker Scott Saiki announced that lawmakers would start off do the job on eradicating UH from managing Mauna Kea. The Household formed the Mauna Kea Performing Group, comprised largely of Native Hawaiians, to direct that effort.

The Legislature has tried using and failed in the earlier to form a new state agency that would manage Mauna Kea.

In 2018, lawmakers proposed a new Mauna Kea Management Authority, but the monthly bill in the end died late in session. Pursuing protests in 2019 that blocked development of the TMT, Hawaii County Mayor Harry Kim also proposed a new agency to oversee Mauna Kea. Having said that, the Legislature did small very last yr to go forward with any of Kim’s proposals.

In 2020, Saiki proposed a blue-ribbon fee to research the state’s connection with Native Hawaiians and glance for areas of advancement. That effort and hard work stalled when the Covid-19 pandemic strike Hawaii.

Go through the doing the job group’s report under.