Maunakea ranger briefing visitors on safety.

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 Kū 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 Affairs was 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 UH management areas; to promote public safety and welfare by regulating public and commercial activity within the UH management 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.

Maunakea staff member talking to people in a car

Maunakea staff helps visitors to the park.

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