East Hawaii News

OHA Applauds Ruling Against Mauna Kea Emergency Rule

October 13, 2015, 1:37 PM HST
* Updated October 13, 1:44 PM
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The Office of Hawaiian Affairs on Tuesday applauded Circuit Court Judge Ronald Ibarra’s ruling that invalidated the Board of Land and Natural Resources’ Mauna Kea 120-day emergency rule that placed restrictions on overnight access and limitations on items brought up the mountain.

Judge Ibarra ruled on Friday that the DLNR failed to comply with rulemaking requirements, including the failure to provide supportive measures to show that the rule was a necessity to prevent “imminent peril to the public health, safety, or moral, or to natural resources.”

“OHA questions whether such ‘imminent peril’ can be demonstrated,” said OHA Ka Pouhana and Chief Executive Officer Kamanaʻopono Crabbe. “For this reason, and our concern that the rule violated constitutionally protected rights of Native Hawaiians to reasonably engage in traditional and customary practices, OHA urges the DLNR to refrain from seeking reinstatement of the rule.

“We appreciate the significant efforts of plaintiff Kalani Flores and his attorneys from the Native Hawaiian Legal Corporation for their work in calling to the attention of the courts the shortcomings of the Mauna Kea emergency rule.”

NHLC, a non-profit law firm that seeks “to perpetuate, through legal and other advocacy, the rights, customs, and practices that strengthen Native Hawaiian identity and culture,” receives a large portion of funds from OHA.

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On July 10, OHA submitted testimony against BLNR’s emergency rule. The rule was passed by the board on July 10 and subsequently signed by Governor David Ige on July 14.

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During the rule period, a total of 15 individuals were arrested on two separate occasions. On July 31, seven individuals were arrested and on Sept. 9, another eight individuals were taken into custody for not abiding by the BLNR emergency rule.

The DLNR announced Saturday that “permitless camping” on the mountain remained banned.

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