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Issue 1/2015
  January 29, 2015 

Due to your previous interest in activities on Maunakea we are informing you of the upcoming Open House meetings regarding new Master Leases for the Mauna Kea Science Reserve.


The University of Hawai'i is seeking new master leases for the Mauna Kea Science Reserve and related facilities and easements.  It has prepared an Environmental Impact Statement Preparation Notice (EISPN), which can be viewed online at:




The EIS alternative actions being considered are:  


1) No Action Alternative (existing Master Lease would run its course and astronomy subleases would terminate no later than the end of 2033)  All observatory leases would terminate and undergo decommissioning. Observatory sites would be restored according to the terms of their sublease. Infrastructure maintenance, including road and Visitor Information Station would cease.  All UH managed lands and facilities would return to DLNR, including facilities such as those at Halepohaku. If DLNR finds no viable alternative uses for the latter it would ask UH to remove them.     

2) New 65-year Master Lease for Existing Lease Area of 11,000+ Acres  UH would continue to be responsible for maintaining infrastructure for public access and all costs associated with implementing the Mauna Kea Comprehensive Management Plan.  A new Master Lease would enable UH to enter into new subleases and to seek sublease rent based on the subleases' share of the cost to manage UH's lease and easement areas. A new Master Lease would encourage astronomical use on Maunakea to continue 65 years from the date the lease is signed..     

3) New 65-year Master Lease for a Reduced Lease Area of 800+ Acres   UH would continue the same management and stewardship activities for a much smaller portion of the land it now leases. Roughly 10,408 acres of the Mauna Kea Science Reserve would be returned to DLNR when the current master lease terminates. DLNR would assume management of this area.       

The potential impacts of each alternative will be evaluated in the EIS.

If you know of others that may be interested, please pass this information on to them.  The locations, dates, and times for the upcoming Open House meetings are:


Monday, February 2 - 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. 

University of Hawai'i Cancer Center
Sullivan Conference Center
701 Ilalo Street

Wednesday, February 4 - 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. 
Department of Hawaiian Homelands - Kuhio Hale
64-756 Mamalahoa Highway
Thursday, February 5 - 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. 
'Imiloa Astronomy Center of Hawaii - Moanahoku Hall
600 'Imiloa Place


Exhibits will be available for viewing and attendees will have an opportunity to talk with various resource specialists, managers, and planners.  

Written comments on the EISPN are encouraged.  In the event that you are not able to attend one of the Open Houses, you may use the link above to review the EISPN and provide written comment to:

Stephanie Nagata
Office of Mauna Kea Management
200 W. Kawili St.
Hilo, HI 96720


copies to: Perry White at




The Office of Maunakea Management is charged with day-to-day management of the Mauna Kea Science Reserve as prescribed in the Master Plan. The adoption of the Mauna Kea Science Reserve Master Plan by the University of Hawaii Board of Regents in June 2000 marked a critical milestone in the management of Maunakea.


Meetings and public hearings spanning a period of nearly two years went into the formulation of the Master Plan, which established management guidelines for the next 20 years. The Master Plan reflected the community's deeply rooted concerns over the use of Maunakea, including respect for Hawaiian cultural beliefs, protection of environmentally sensitive habitat, recreational use of the mountain, and astronomy research.   


It places the focus of responsibility with the University of Hawaii at Hilo (UHH). The UH-Hilo Chancellor established the Office of Maunakea Management and the Board of Regents established the Maunakea Management Board in the fall of 2000. The Maunakea Management Board in turn formed Kahu Ku Mauna, a council comprised of Hawaiian cultural resource persons to serve as advisors.
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OMKM Mission

To achieve harmony, balance and trust in the sustainable management and stewardship of Mauna Kea Science Reserve through community involvement and programs that protect, preserve and enhance the natural, cultural and recreational resources of Maunakea while providing a world-class center dedicated to education, research and astronomy.