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Summit of Maunakea and its shadow

The University of Hawaiʻi Board of Regents approved administrative rules for University of Hawaiʻi-managed lands on Maunakea at a special meeting held at UH Hilo on November 6.

After 99 people testified at the meeting that lasted more than 11 hours, the regents voted unanimously in favor of the latest draft of the rules with one amendment, which eliminated the requirement that groups of 10 or more must register before entering UH-managed areas.

The rules now advance through the remainder of the administrative rules process to Gov. David Ige for final approval.

(The proposed rules may be viewed on page 627 of the Board of Regents Meeting Materials (PDF), but do not yet reflect the elimination of the section regarding groups registration)

The rules are the result of extensive consultation and public outreach that included Native Hawaiian organizations, Hawaiʻi Island business organizations, commercial tour operators and government agencies including the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, Department of Land and Natural Resources, the Office of Hawaiʻi County Mayor, Maunakea Management Board and Kahu Kū Mauna.

The purpose of the 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 department of land and natural resources in UH management areas.”

The current rules making process started in early 2018. The first round of four public hearings on the initial draft was held in September 2018 on Hawaiʻi Island, Maui and Oʻahu. A revised draft was prepared based on the comments and concerns received during those public hearings and shared with stakeholder groups and the public during a three-month, informal outreach process that began in January 2019.

A second round of four public hearings was held in June 2019 on Hawaiʻi Island, Maui and Oʻahu. The draft that was approved by the regents included revisions based on 738 written submissions collected, and 225 oral testifiers recorded, during the two rounds of formal public hearings in 2018 and 2019.

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