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The University of Hawaiʻi is asking for public comment on the latest draft of the proposed administrative rules for public and commercial activities on UH-managed lands on Maunakea on Hawaiʻi Island. The rules are an essential resource management tool.

The current request for public input is part of an informal consultation process that includes meetings with various stakeholder groups. The latest draft will be updated based on the feedback received ahead of a second round of formal public hearings, tentatively scheduled for spring. The public is asked to participate in the next round of public hearings, even if they submitted feedback during the informal process.

The initial draft was updated after the first round of formal public hearings in September 2018 in Honolulu, Hilo and Waikoloa on Hawaiʻi Island, and Kahului, Maui. Among the issues raised and addressed were concerns regarding Native Hawaiian rights and customary practices, limiting the use of cell phones and flashlights, requiring permits for large groups and allowing only four-wheel drive vehicles above the mid-level facility.

The purpose of the proposed rules (under Section 20-26-1) 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; to ensure safe and appropriate access to the UH management areas for the public; and to foster co-management with the Hawaiʻi State Department of Land and Natural Resources in UH management areas.”

To provide comments on the informal draft, please submit (1) via email at; or (2) in writing to the UH Government Relations Office, 2442 Campus Road, Administrative Services Building 1-101, Honolulu, HI, 96822. The deadline for informal comments is Friday, March 15, 2019, at 4:30 p.m. UH plans to present a draft of the rules to the Board of Regents for consideration before holding the second round of public hearings in the first quarter of 2019.

The university subleases 11,288 acres from the Hawaiʻi State Department of Land and Natural Resources, essentially all of the land above the 11,500-foot elevation of Maunakea except for the 2,033 acre Mauna Kea Ice Age Natural Area Reserve.

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