VIDEO by David Corrigan
Two critical subplans required to finalize the Mauna Kea Comprehensive Management Plan were released last week, and on Tuesday the public had a chance to study the proposals up close in Hilo.
The Office of Mauna Kea Management held its first of three island-wide open houses on the Mauna Kea Public Access Plan and the Decommissioning Plan for the Mauna Kea Observatories at The Gathering Place at Prince Kuhio Plaza. Another public meeting is scheduled for today at the Kahilu Theatre in Waimea, and again on Thursday at the King Kamehameha Kona Beach Hotel. Both meeting begin at 4:30 p.m.
The University of Hawaii, under which the Office of Mauna Kea Management operates, holds a long-term lease on the Mauna Kea Science Reserve from the Department of Land and Natural Resources. The lease expires in 2033.
The media was given a pre-open house presentation on the substance of the two subplans. When the Board of Land and Natural Resources approved the Mauna Kea CMP in April 2009, it gave the university one year to complete the unfinished subplans.
The subplans are considered to be crucial steps in addressing use of the summit area as a recreation area as well as a science reserve. In both plans, the conservation of natural resources is a important tenet.
The Public Access Plan will provide guidelines in managing public access within the UH Management Areas on Mauna Kea. This includes public visitation, and recreational activities like skiing and hunting.
The Decommissioning Plan establishes the process for eventual removal of observatories and site restoration.
The UH Board of Regents and the BLNR must approve these two subplans before they can be incorporated into the CMP.