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UH Hilo to Host Forum on Maunakea Master Plan, as CIP Funds Released for Telescope Removal

September 27, 2021, 8:59 AM HST
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The University of Hawaiʻi will host a virtual forum next month, during which the public will be able to ask questions via email about the draft of a new Maunakea Master Plan

The digital meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, Oct. 6, from 5 to 7 pm. The 122-page draft of the new plan, Master Plan for the University of Hawaiʻi Maunakea Lands; E Ō I Ka Leo (Listen to the Voice), is posted for public review and comment.

The new plan will guide land use decisions on UH-managed Maunakea lands and serve as a framework for aligning land use decisions, management actions and educational programs. The existing Master Plan was adopted in 2000 with an intended 20-year lifespan. 

UH Hilo Center for Maunakea Stewardship Executive Director Greg Chun will be answering the questions during the forum, which will be livestreamed on the UH YouTube Channel.

“Everyone has a legitimate interest in what happens to these lands and how they are utilized,” said Chun in the Sept. 12 announcement on the draft of the new Maunakea Master Plan. “We strongly encourage everyone to play a role in this master plan’s development and tell us what they think.”

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The public is asked to email their questions to [email protected] prior to the forum. Questions will be answered during the forum with those questions submitted earliest being the most likely to be addressed.

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The public is encouraged to provide feedback on the plan at the Maunakea Master Plan website (https://maunakea.konveio.com/).

The online platform simplifies review and engagement by allowing commenting within the virtual document for greater public convenience. The website lists alternative methods to provide feedback including US mail, voicemail and an online general comment form. 

UH is accepting public comments on the draft Master Plan up through Tuesday, Oct. 26, 2021. All comments/feedback and forum questions will be taken into consideration as the draft is amended before going to the UH Board of Regents for review and possible further changes before final approval, which is expected in early 2022.

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While the issue of the Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) remains unresolved and atop the list of management concerns on Maunakea, removal of two outdated telescopes is moving forward.

Governor David Ige recently released $900,000 in capital improvement project funding (CIP) for telescope removal at Mauna Kea for the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo.

“I’d like to thank Governor Ige for releasing funding for the telescope removal at Mauna Kea. Removing antiquated telescopes from Mauna Kea is a necessary step in order to move forward.” said Big Island Senator Lorraine Inouye.

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