(BIVN) – The University of Hawaii is moving forward with proposed administrative rules that will govern public and commercial activities on Mauna Kea.
Four public hearings will be held in the month of September. Two of them will be on Hawaii Island.
- September 24, 5 to 7 p.m., Sullivan Conference Center, UH Cancer Center, 701 Ilalo Street, Honolulu
- September 25, 5 to 7 p.m., ʻImiloa Astronomy Center of Hawaiʻi, 600 ʻImiloa Place, Hilo
- September 26, 6:15 to 8:15 p.m., Waikoloa Elementary and Middle School, 68-1730 Hoʻoko Street, Waikoloa
- September 28, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., ʻIke Leʻa—Room 144, UH Maui College, 310 West KaʻahumanuAvenue, Kahului
The university’s failure to enact administrative rules for Mauna Kea has been a point of criticism from lawmakers, especially in recent months. The rules will address an assortment of activities, mostly with the goal of preserving natural and educational resources, as well as university property on the mountain.
The rules lay out what will be allowed, and what will not be allowed, on the UH managed lands. For example, no removing, damaging, or disturbing natural features or resources.
There are also prohibitions on any activity that materially interferes with the scientific and educational operations.
No drones, no pets (unless it’s a dog used for hunting), and no camping.
There is a rule that prohibits creating noise or sound within UH management areas, “either vocally or otherwise, including but not limited to public address systems, radios, television sets, musical instruments, or use of any noise producing devices”.
One sections states that only vehicles equipped with low-range fourwheel-drive will be allowed north of Halepōhaku.
There are also several rules designed to put an end to activities that would “obstruct or impede public or vehicular access, or harass visitors to UH management areas”. That includes a section on “interference with government function.”
There is also a section affirming the university’s right to close the road or restrict access, and set permits and fees for commercial activities. Those activities would include commercial tours and making commercial audio and video recordings.
Group use permits – that is any group larger than ten (10) members – would also be required for gatherings. Those gatherings include public assemblies, meetings, demonstrations, parades, and other such events, according to the proposed rules.
University officials say the testimony given at the upcoming public meetings will be taken into consideration as the rules are finalized.
“That public input will inform and help us craft these rules in such a way that it meets the broader needs of not just the university but the concerns and the needs of the community,” said Greg Chun, Maunakea senior advisor to the UH President.
The rules will then go to the UH Board of Regents for decision making. If approved by the Regents, the rules will then go to the governor for final review and approval.