(BIVN) – The Historic Places Review Board for the State of Hawaiʻi has listed Maunakea, above the 6,500 feet elevation, as a Traditional Cultural Property.
Alan Downer, the Administrator at Hawaii State Historic Preservation Division, announced the listing to members of the Maunakea Stewardship and Oversight Authority during a meeting held on Thursday.
Downer said the Historic Places Review Board also recommended the mountain be nominated to the National Register of Historic Places. The State will be sending the nomination to the National Park Service for their decision making. Downer said he would be very surprised if the NPS chose not to list it.
Earlier this year, it was reported that KAHEA: The Hawaiian-Environmental Alliance and Mauna Kea ʻAnaina Hou had nominated Maunakea as a Traditional Cultural Property.
The listing will trigger additional federal reviews for projects like the Thirty Meter Telescope. Traditional cultural properties that are listed in the National Register of Historic Places, or eligible to be listed, must undergo a National Park Service Section 106 review when there is a proposed federal undertaking. The National Science Foundation is currently considering funding the TMT observatory project. Downer said meetings are already being planned to discuss that federal review.
Downer noted the NSF is already doing an Environmental Impact Statement for the TMT project under the National Environmental Policy Act, which he thinks “will take much longer to complete” than the additional Section 106 compliance.