Lawmakers Continue to Address Amendments to Mauna Kea Stewardship Bill
Lawmakers continue to work out legislation that creates a new governing body to oversee the management of Mauna Kea.
House Bill 2024 sought to remove the University of Hawai‘i as the manager of the mountain and replace it with Mauna Kea Stewardship and Oversight Authority. The measure passed the House with amendments in March.
The bill was modified in the Senate so that UH and the new governing body would have joint oversight. The House disagreed with the Senate’s amendments and the bill went into conference committee for further discussion.
The latest version introduced Tuesday would leave UH out after a five-year transition period. After that, the new governing authority would take over day-to-day management of the mountain.
11-member Authority, appointed by Governor and confirmed by Senate, will include representatives from DLNR, UH Board of Regents, Hawai‘i Island Mayor, observatories’ representative, five citizens (land management, education, business/finance, lineal descendant practitioner, cultural practitioner), two citizens (from list submitted by senate president and speaker of the house; UH Hilo chancellor non-voting ex-officio).
“The critical significance of Mauna Kea for both culture and science offers an urgent and unique
opportunity to surmount the dichotomy and develop new ways to mutually steward Mauna Kea,” officials stated. “Therefore, a reformation of the stewardship of Mauna Kea is an issue of the highest priority of the State.”
The conference committee will reconvene to discuss the latest amendments on Thursday, April 28, 2022.