(BIVN) – The Mauna Kea Management Board met in Hilo on Tuesday. Office of Mauna Kea Management Director Stephanie Nagata gave her customary report at the start of the meeting.
Nagata began with an update on the Thirty Meter Telescope conservation district use permit, which was recently granted by the Board of Land and Natural Resources. The land board decision is being appealed to the Hawaii Supreme Court. Nagata said they are now waiting for the process to move forward. All the materials have to be transferred from the BLNR to the supreme court.
Nagata talked about the Kalani Flores vs. BLNR lawsuit, regarding his request for a contested case concerning the TMT sublease. The matter is also before the Hawaii Supreme Court, she said, which is expected to set a date for oral arguments.
Nagata mentioned the Office of Hawaiian Affairs’ complaint over the management of Mauna Kea. To date, OHA has not yet served the University, Nagata said.
Nagata then detailed the completed UH 2.2 meter telescope repair and maintenance, the IRTF dome project that got underway in August, and the plans to remove the non-working telescope at the Hoku Kea summit facility. UH Hilo will be soliciting bids to remove the failed instrument. An RFQ may be out later this month and a contract could be selected by February.
The court case concerning graffiti in the Mauna kea Ice Age Reserve and Mauna Kea Natural Area Reserve is in court. Hope Cermelj of Kalapana was served a notice of trespass and is barred from entering UH managed lands for one year, Nagata said. The court case has been deferred. Cermelj told Big Island Video News she is seeking to take the case to trial.
Nagata said the annual report to the land board was submitted in August.
Also, the Environmental Assessment for the ingress/egress and parking lot project at the Mauna Kea Visitor Information Station was filed and published. Nagata said there were no legal challenges to the Finding Of No Significant Impact. The project is moving forward with the filing of a Conservation District Use Permit with DLNR.
Nagata detailed recent OMKM outreach, including visits with legislators and a radio interview with Sherry Bracken.
State lawmakers were shown a potential site west of Hale Pohaku that could be the location of a well designed visitor’s center, Nagata said.
The Kona-Kohala Chamber of Commerce honored OMKM with a 2017 Pualu Award for Culture and Heritage. Nagata then discussed what has been a prevailing concern for the OMKM in recent months: the stalled adoption of proposed administrative rules.
“The last we have heard is the Governor (David Ige) requested that the Board of Regents not submit the draft rules to him for his consideration and his approval to allow UH to hold public hearings on the draft rules,” Nagata reported.
Mauna Kea Management Board chair Greg Chun asked the board for their support to make a request to the university lawyers. Chun proposed to ask general counsel for their legal opinion “on what authorities we have in light of no rules existing, as well as a process for enforcement to the extent that this situation continues.”
Big Island Video News will have more on the events that took place at the MKMB meeting in an upcoming story.