A tent erected for the Mauna Kea ‘Protectors’ at the 9,000 foot elevation level was taken down by a group of 19 Department of Land and Natural Resources Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement officers, along with four Hawai’i Police Department officers and an Office of Mauna Kea Management ranger overnight.
DOCARE officers reported that no one was in the restricted area and that no arrests were made.
The tent, located across the road from the Mauna Kea Visitors Center, had been emptied last week, according to Mauna Kea ‘Protector’ Ku’uipo Freitas. The tent, however, belongs to the Lawful Hawaiian Government, and according to Freitas, it remained erected with responsibility laying with LHG to remove.
Freitas said the officers went up the mountain at about 12:30 a.m. DLNR reports that the tent was disassembled, loaded, and taken by officers as evidence.
Last week, in a statement released to Big Island Now, the ‘Protectors’ noted that “in spite of the selective enforcement that is being pressed upon us, we are voluntarily complying with the removal of the tent.”
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“I talked with DLNR officers last week who didn’t even know we were removing our stuff. I asked them when they thought they would take down the tent and they said within the next week, so it’s been about three days,” Freitas said, noting that the enforcement came at no surprise.
DLNR reports that a hale adjacent to the tent was not removed.