October 10, 2016

Draft rules for Maunakea lands moving towards formal public hearing process

The Maunakea Management Board today recommended moving forward to public hearing with draft administrative rules to protect cultural and scientific access and strengthen stewardship of the lands on Maunakea leased and managed by the University of Hawaiʻi. The Mauna Kea Management Board, comprised of seven Hawaiʻi County community members, voted on the draft at its monthly meeting in Hilo, Hawaiʻi. The recommendation to go to public hearing was first considered by Kahu Ku Mauna, a council of community advisors from the Native Hawaiian community.

The recommendation to go to public hearing will next go before the UH Board of Regents (BOR) and then to Governor David Ige's office for approval to proceed to public hearing. The community is strongly encouraged to participate in the public hearing process, which is designed to provide all stakeholders an opportunity to offer input on the draft rules before they are finalized and go back through the formal process for final approval.

The draft rules were developed after multiple community meetings and open houses on Hawaiʻi Island, and incorporate comments from the Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR). The Office of Hawaiian Affairswas previously consulted and has been invited to review the latest version of the draft rules. Portions of the draft rules were adapted from rules currently in place for similar lands managed by DLNR, including forest and natural area reserves.

The development of the administrative rules is mandated by the Maunakea Comprehensive Management Plan, which was approved by the Board of Land and Natural Resources and BOR in open public sessions after substantial public review and comment and is authorized by the Hawaiʻi Revised Statutes. The purpose of the administrative rules is to provide for the proper use, management and protection of cultural, natural and scientific resources of the UHmanagement areas; to promote public safety and welfare by regulating public and commercial activity within the UHmanagement areas; and to expand current efforts to better manage additional aspects of safety and vehicle congestion to ensure safe and appropriate access to the UH management areas for the public.

The draft rules will be posted as soon as they are made publicly available.



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.
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.


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Office of Maunakea Management | 640 N. A`ohōkū Place, Room 203 | Hilo | HI | 96720