Temporary Closure of Unencumbered Lands on Haleakalā During Convoy

August 1, 2017, 11:24 AM HST · Updated August 1, 11:32 AM
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The state Department of Land and Natural Resources Chair today announced that it will implement a temporary closure of unencumbered lands on Haleakalā to protect public safety during the equipment convoy that starts today.

Telescope observatory, Haleakalā off of Crater Road. File photo by Wendy Osher.

DLNR Chair Suzanne Case signed the order today, temporarily closing certain State unencumbered lands adjacent to Haleakalā National Park land on Maui.  Department officials say Hawai‘i State Administrative Rules (HAR 13-221-4) allow the DLNR Chair to close or restrict public usage for the purposes of safe transit and personal safety.

The National Park Service is scheduled to close the entrance to Haleakalā National Park at 10 p.m. today, Tuesday, August 1, 2017.  Additional road closures will be in place lower on the mountain. The department advises that no parking will be allowed along State and Federal roadways during the closures.

According to DLNR officials, law enforcement officers from the DLNR Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement, the National Park Service, and the Maui Police Department are collaborating to maintain safe transit for the convoy.  Anyone found on closed unencumbered State land is subject to citation and/or arrest.

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A demonstration is planned tonight along a convoy route, which is transporting large loads to the Daniel K Inouye Solar Telescope atop Haleakalā.  The group Kākoʻo Haleakalā is protesting ongoing construction atop the mountain, which they consider sacred. The demonstration begins at 6 p.m. fronting King Kekaulike High School.

 

Kākoʻo Haleakalā demonstration, 8/19/15. Photo credit: Nicholas Garrett.

Similar convoys were met with protests and more than 25 arrests in 2015 due to issues surrounding development atop Hawaiʻi’s highest mountains.

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On July 30, 2015, 20 individuals were arrested for failure to disperse during a demonstration in which individuals attempted to block a planned convoy of vehicles scheduled to deliver equipment to the DKIST.  Three weeks later, on Aug. 19, 2015, an additional eight people were arrested on Maui during a demonstration against the ongoing construction of the telescope.

In October of 2016, the Hawaiʻi Supreme Court issued an opinion that supported continued construction.

Today’s convoy is scheduled to begin at 10 p.m. and conclude by 2 p.m. tomorrow, and will result in the closure of Crater Road and Haleakalā National Park’s summit road for 16 hours.

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