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Summit of Maunakea and its shadow

The proposed resolution was drafted by the BOR Maunakea Governance Permitted Interaction Group formed by the BOR at its August 2, 2019 special meeting. The resolution and report by the group are posted in the materials for the October 17 BOR meeting at Leeward Community College. This is a matter of procedure for Permitted Interaction Groups, pursuant to Section 92-2.5(b), HRS. No action or deliberation will occur on this item at the Leeward CC meeting, but will be taken up at the subsequent meeting scheduled for November 6, at UH Hilo.

The group, consisting of six regents, engaged with university administration, government officials and outside advisors as it looked into issues related to the university’s stewardship and governance activities on Maunakea.

University of Hawaiʻi Board of Regents RESOLUTION To Act on Items Relating to Maunakea Management

WHEREAS, the Board of Regents believes and acknowledges that Maunakea holds a special and important place in the history, culture, and hearts of the peoples of Native Hawaiian ancestry and all of Hawaiʻi; and

WHEREAS, Maunakea has become a symbol of Native Hawaiian self-determination; and

WHEREAS, the Board of Regents recognizes that the University of Hawaiʻi (“University”) has been criticized for past and present management of Maunakea; and

WHEREAS, the Board of Regents realizes that any mismanagement of Maunakea is hurtful and disrespectful to the sanctity and inviolability of this place to Native Hawaiians and others; and

WHEREAS, the Board of Regents in response to past criticisms, has clarified its roles, duties, and responsibilities beginning with the adoption of the Mauna Kea Science Reserve Master Plan (2000), Mauna Kea Comprehensive Management Plan UH Management Areas (2009), A Cultural Resources Management Plan for the University of Hawaiʻi Management Areas on Mauna Kea (2009), Natural Resources Management Plan for the UH Management Areas on Mauna Kea (2009), Public Access Plan for the UH Management areas on Mauna Kea (2010), and Decommissioning Plan for the Mauna Kea Observatories (2010) (collectively hereinafter referred to as “Management Plans”); and

WHEREAS, under said Management Plans, the Board of Regents was principally responsible to fulfill and to carry out all of the recommendations, obligations, and duties promulgated under said Management Plans; and

WHEREAS, the Board of Regents takes its responsibility seriously and hereby affirms its commitment to follow through with the recommendations made in the Management Plans to better manage the impacts of the astronomy facilities and operations upon the natural environment, cultural resources, recreational resources, educational resources, and upon the broader community; and

WHEREAS, the Board of Regents has determined that there remain unmet responsibilities and ongoing compliance issues that have delayed completion of certain recommendations and requirements under the Management Plans; and

WHEREAS, THE Board of Regents therefore desires to remove any delays in compliance and to complete ongoing responsibilities in an accelerated and expeditious manner.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that University of Hawaiʻi President David Lassner, University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo Chancellor Bonnie Irwin, University of Hawaiʻi Vice President Vassilis Syrmos, Maunakea Support Services (MKSS), Institute for Astronomy (IfA), Office of Maunakea Management (OMKM), and any other necessary, related management or operation entity be directed to cause the following action items to be accomplished in the timeframes as specified herein below:

  1. Two (2) observatory sites known as the Caltech Submillimeter Observatory and Hokukea site shall be decommissioned no later than April 30, 2021. For purposes of this resolution, the term “decommissioning” shall mean the complete removal of all man-made structures at each respective site bringing each site to as close as feasible to its natural state prior to construction. These will be the first two of five observatories to be decommissioned.
  2. A schedule of decommissioning of these two sites will be laid out on a Gantt chart or other similar visual schedule for each of the above sites indicating function and timeframe for each major step in the decommissioning process to achieve completion on or by April 30, 2021. The schedule for decommissioning shall be presented to the Board of Regents on or before its February 2020 meeting.
  3. A new educational telescope facility for the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo shall be established on already developed land at Hale Pōhaku or elsewhere, as soon as can be permitted, with a target date no later than April 30, 2021, to ensure the prompt availability of a teaching telescope. The Board of Regents shall support the funding of the planning, design, and construction of the new educational facility.
  4. A third (3rd) observatory site known as the United Kingdom Infrafred Telescope (UKIRT) shall be decommissioned no later than December 2024. A Gantt chart or other similar visual schedule shall be provided to the Board of Regents by December 31, 2022. This will be the third of five observatories to be decommissioned.
  5. Since the fourth (4th) observatory site known as the Very Long Baseline Array (VLBA) observatory is already scheduled to be decommissioned by December 31, 2033, the last of the five sites to be decommissioned will be identified and designated to the Board of Regents on or by December 31, 2022.
  6. In collaboration with OMKM and MKSS, the ʻImiloa Astronomy Center shall develop a suite of educational programs regarding Maunakea including but not limited to Native Hawaiian culture, history, environmental, and biological considerations designed for tour guides and drivers, employees, contractors, recreational users, scientists and observatory workers, and visitors, as required by the Management Plans, by August 31, 2020. OMKM shall report to the Board of Regents on its plans and progress to implement said educational programs at its February 2020 meeting. Administration shall make a budget request during the 2020 legislative session to fund this action item.
  7. Administration shall make a CIP request during the 2020 legislative session for monies to plan, design, and construct an educational center at Hale Pōhaku and/or another appropriate site on Maunakea that will educate visitors on cultural, environmental, and astronomy related topics relating to Maunakea.
  8. The Maunakea Master Plan update will accommodate uses by Native Hawaiian cultural Practitioners.
  9. A reorganization and restructuring plan shall be presented to the Board of Regents as to all advisory, operating, and funding bodies involved in the management of Maunakea by April 2020. The purpose of the plan is to improve operations and management and make it more efficient, effective and transparent. The reorganization and restructuring plan shall be embodied into a governance document that is approved by the Board of Regents.
  10. As part of the reorganization and restructuring plan, an in-depth analysis will be done to determine whether the management of the Maunakea Science Reserve would be better served if transferred to a governmental authority or other third party entity, or through alternate
    management mechanisms (e.g., conservation easement agreement, etc.). The results of this analysis will be presented to the Board of Regents by April 2020.
  11. The University will cooperate with the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands (DHHL) to resolve any outstanding issues relating to the roadway infrastructure on Maunakea and will seek opportunities to assist DHHL in its efforts to fulfill its trust duties and responsibilities on the use of its Maunakea lands.
  12. As permitted by law, the University should pursue a partnership with an appropriate agency or organization whose primary beneficiary is the Native Hawaiian community, to operate commercial shuttles and tours on Maunakea.
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