(BIVN) – The University of Hawaiʻi is seeking broad community feedback on a 122-page draft Maunakea Master Plan guiding land-use decisions on UH-managed lands.
The university says the existing Master Plan was adopted in 2000 and established the Maunakea Management Board and Kahu Kū Mauna community volunteer advisory groups. It also covered facility design standards, the review process for proposed land uses on the mountain, and roadway projects.
“This plan is trying to be responsive to the many values and obligations that we as an institution have for managing public lands. So everyone in the public has a legitimate interest in what happens to these lands and how these lands are utilized,” said Greg Chun, the Executive Director of the Center for Maunakea Stewardship. “It needs to be updated because the existing master plan which was developed in 2000 had a 20-year life. And so it’s time for us to update it. We need to also update it because it’s a crucial step in securing a new master lease.”
According to a UH news release, key highlights of the plan include:
- Fortification of UH’s commitment of no more than nine operating astronomy facilities on Maunakea by December 31, 2033.
- Providing mechanisms to seek and consider input from the native Hawaiian community and the broader community in the decision-making framework.
- Support for the UH Hilo Educational Telescope at Halepōhaku (the mid-level facility).
- Establishing a UH Hilo-led “Multi-disciplinary Field Station” at the mid-level to support field studies and learning experiences across disciplines.
- Maintaining the Maunakea Observatories’ status as world leaders in astronomy
Activities like hunting, gathering, recreation and traditional and customary practices are activities addressed in the Mauna Kea Comprehensive Management Plan (CMP), which UH says is being updated.
A virtual public meeting on the new Master Plan is tentatively scheduled for October 6 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.
The public can review and provide comments directly to the draft at the Maunakea Master Plan website, an online platform that simplifies public review and engagement for greater convenience. UH is accepting input on this draft plan through October 26, 2021.