April 7, 2009 – Hilo, Hawaii
VIDEO: David Corrigan
Around 100 supporters of the Mauna Kea Comprehensive Management Plan (CMP) gathered for a sign-waving event in Hilo by the Kamehameha statue on Monday.
The family oriented gathering capped off a week of campaigning, only days before a Board of Land and Natural Resources meeting will be held so the public can give testimony before the BLNR takes action on the CMP.
The CMP has been a contentious issue on the Big Island, as Hawaii tries to find a balance between interests over the sacred summit. Those in favor of the CMP have organized a final publicity push, assisted by local farmer Richard Ha.
Ha writes on his blog that the CMP “is a living document and it allows people to step up and exercise ‘our kuleana,’ which is to malama Mauna Kea. It is a good plan because it takes special pains to be respectful of the culture, and of the people who practice the culture. Most of all, it is a good plan because we all contributed to it.”
Although some Native Hawaiian groups have regarded the CMP with suspicion, and even outrage, Ha says that The Office of Hawaiian Affairs issued a Resolution approving the Comprehensive Management Plan. Ha says the plan also gets the approval of The Association of Hawaiian Civic Clubs.
Ha’s Hamakua Springs Country Farms gave one clamshell of grape tomatoes per family to the first 150 people who attended Monday’s sign waving.
The hearing will be at the Hilo Hawaiian Hotel from 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. on Wednesday, and reconvene on Thursday at 9:00 a.m.