DLNR Begins Review of Maunakea Comprehensive Management Plan

May 19, 2020, 10:30 AM HST · Updated May 19, 10:30 AM
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USGS photo by J. Kauahikaua, Jan. 1, 2017.

In order to provide the DLNR and the Board of Land and Natural Resources relevant information, including community input, into whether Maunakea is being effectively managed, the department is launching an independent evaluation of the University of Hawai‘i’s (UH) compliance with the Mauna Kea Comprehensive Management Plan (CMP).

According to DLNR Chair Suzanne Case this evaluation will parallel the mandatory five-year review of the Comprehensive Management Plan currently underway by UH. The review will evaluate the efficiency of UH management and specifically its Office of Mauna Kea Management (OMKM). The DLNR review will also include an assessment of the governance structure in managing the cultural and natural resources within areas on the mountain for which UH/OMKM are responsible.

“This process will ensure a thorough review that includes multiple points of view and provides an independent evaluation for the Land Board,” Case said in a press release.

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UH leases approximately 11,000 acres of State lands on Mauna Kea, of which 525 acres is in the Astronomy Precinct and 10,700 acres are designated as Natural/Cultural Preservation Area. The Comprehensive Management Plan covers all of the UH leased land.

DLNR has contracted with Ku‘iwalu Consulting for the review. It will include a culturally sensitive and robust community engagement process to gather as much input as possible on UH’s implementation of the Comprehensive Management Plan. This input will be incorporated into the report. 

UH is seeking renewal of its 65-year-long lease. Its current Comprehensive Management Plan was approved by the Board of Land and Natural Resources in 2009. The DLNR review is expected to be completed by the end of this calendar year. Chair Case notes that the independent evaluation is not a report on the proposed Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT).

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