UH Board of Regents Approve Mauna Kea Resolution and Rules

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After more than 11 hours of testimony, the UH Board of Regents approved new rules governing the university's management of Mauna Kea as well as a resolution to further improve management.
Credit Deborah Ward

The University of Hawaiʻi Board of Regents approved the latest draft of rules yesterday governing activities on Mauna Kea.

After hearing more than eleven hours of public testimony, the regents voted unanimously to adopt the rules with one amendment. 

The board eliminated a requirement that groups of 10 or more must register before entering UH managed areas. The amendment sought to address concerns that the rules restrict native Hawaiian cultural practitioners.  

Most of the 99 people who offered testimony at the board meeting in Hilo denounced the rules, blasted the Thirty-Meter Telescope, and criticized the university.

The rules aim to limit the number of vehicles and commercial activity on the mountain and will now go to Governor David Ige for final approval. 

The Board also approved a resolution calling for a reorganization and restructuring plan for improving management of Mauna Kea. The resolution lists 11 action items and a timeframe for decommissioning of five telescopes on the mountain.

The Board adopted the resolution in a 9-to-0 vote, with one regent abstaining. The proposal was criticized by the Mauna Kea Management Board and its advisory council, both of which said in their testimony they did not have input on it. In response, the regents requested that the administration report back on what stakeholders would be involved in developing any reorganization and restructuring plan for the management of the mauna.