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Public Input Sought on Proposed Maunakea Admin Rules

September 23, 2018, 8:32 AM HST
* Updated September 23, 9:02 AM
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Maunakea telescopes. Courtesy photo.

The University of Hawaiʻi invites the public to provide input on the proposed draft of the administrative rules that will govern public and commercial activities on University of Hawai‘i-managed lands on Maunakea (Chapter 20–26, Hawaiʻi Administrative Rules).

Testimony may be submitted in four ways up until the end of the last noticed hearing:

  1. online at the UH Government Relations website
  2. via email at [email protected]
  3. in writing to UH Government Relations Office, 2442 Campus Road, Administrative Services Building 1-101, Honolulu, HI, 96822
  4. in person at one of four public hearings.
    1. Sept. 24, 2018, 5 to 7 p.m., Sullivan Conference Center, UH Cancer Center, 701 Ilalo St., Honolulu
    2. Sept. 25, 2018, 5 to 7 p.m., ʻImiloa Astronomy Center of Hawaiʻi, 600 ʻImiloa Place, Hilo
    3. Sept. 26, 2018, 6:15 to 8:15 p.m., Waikoloa Elementary and Middle School, 68-1730 Hoʻoko Street, Waikoloa
    4. Sept. 28, 2018, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., ʻIke Leʻa—Room 144, UH Maui College, 310 West KaʻahumanuAvenue, Kahului

The public is strongly encouraged to participate in the process as the testimony will be taken into consideration as the rules are finalized. The rules will then go to the UH Board of Regents for a publicly noticed decision making meeting that will also accept public testimony. If approved at that point, the rules will proceed through the administrative rules process to the governor for final review and approval.

“The administrative rules provide the university with an important stewardship tool to more effectively protect the cultural, natural and scientific resources on Maunakea and provide measures to better ensure public health and safety,“ said UH Hilo Interim Chancellor Marcia Sakai.

“That public input will inform and help us craft these rules in such a way that it meets the broader needs of not just the university but the concerns and the needs of the community,” said Greg Chun, Maunakea senior advisor to the UH president. “These rules allow us the opportunity to put in place a set of tools that we currently don’t have to better manage the resources there.”

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The draft rules were developed after extensive community outreach that included several publicly noticed meetings, open houses and consultation with the state Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR), Office of Hawaiian Affairs and the Small Business Regulatory Review Board. The draft rules as required by statute are consistent with rules currently in place for similar lands managed by DLNR, including forest and natural area reserves.

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The UH Board of Regents approved the draft rules for public hearings on June 7, and Gov. David Ige gave his approval to move ahead with public hearings in July 2018.

“Maunakea is a very special place and we take that responsibility and the privilege of being there very seriously,” said Chun.

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