Video courtesy ‘Olelo Community Media
HONOLULU, Hawaii – The Hawaii Board of Land and Natural Resources voted to approve a new set of rules for Mauna Kea following 8 hours of passionate public testimony on Friday.
Under the new rules, no person shall enter or remain in the restricted area (within one mile of the Mauna Kea Access Road, on either side) during the (adjusted) hours of 10:00 p.m. to 4:00 a.m. Also, no person shall at any time bring in to the restricted area obvious camping paraphernalia. A last minute adjustment to the new rules excludes backbacks from the list of prohibited items.
The rules were created by the state with the intention of countering the self proclaimed protectors of the mountain who have been keeping a vigil at Hale Pohaku for over 100 days, blocking construction crews working for the planned Thirty Meter Telescope and preventing them from reaching the summit area of the mountain.
At-Large board member from Hawaii Island, Christopher Yuen, motioned to support the new rules. He cast his vote in favor of the restrictions, as did Hawaii Island board member Stanley Roehrig. The final vote was 5-2 in favor of the new rules. O’ahu member Ulalia Woodside and Maui member James A. Gomes both voted a’ole.
Just before the final vote was taken a member of the audience yelled “ku kia’i mauna”, then told the board “I’ll see you on the mountain” before he walked out of the room.
Here are the final rules, as provided by the Department of Land and Natural Resources:
Prohibited activities. (a) The area referred to in this rule as the “restricted area” is defined as any lands in the public hunting area that includes the Mauna Kea Observatory Access Road and one mile on either side of the Mauna Kea Observatory Access road.
(b) As used in this rule, the term “transiting” means operating, or being a passenger in, a motor vehicle travelling at a reasonable and prudent speed and having regard to the actual and potential hazards and conditions then existing.
(c) No person shall at any time possess or control in the restricted area any of the following items: sleeping bag, tent, camping stove, or propane burner.
(d) No person shall enter or remain in the restricted area during the hours of 10:00 p.m. to 4:00 a.m., unless the person is transiting through the restricted area on the Mauna Kea Observatory Access Road or is lawfully within or entering or exiting an existing observatory or a facility operated by the University of Hawaii.