UH: Daily Logs Reveal Vandalism, Negative Impacts of Protest Atop Mauna Kea

Jul 9, 2015

Credit Molly Solomon

The University of Hawaii has released logs kept by Mauna Kea rangers and employees at the visitors center. The documents come ahead of today's Board of Land and Natural Resources meeting. On the agenda is an emergency rule that would prohibit camping and restrict nighttime access on the mountain.

The logs allege concerns of safety, threats to natural resources, and hostile comments towards visitors and employees since the protests against the Thirty Meter Telescope began back in March.

The $1.4 billion project would be the 14th telescope atop Mauna Kea. Astronomers call Mauna Kea's summit one of the world's best places to see the stars. But environmentalists and Native Hawaiians say the sacred ground is in need of protection.

Credit Molly Solomon

Kahookahi Kanuha, one of the organizers of the protests, says he has not experienced anything like what was described in the University's released accounts. "I don't recall seeing any of that behavior," said Kanuha. "We are committed to kapu aloha and have held ourselves to that."

Kanuha said as the protests have continued, the interest in their movement has grown. He hopes that people who come to the mountain will also remember to be respectful and hold themselves to the same standard. "We've been clear we're not a group, we're a set of individuals that have come together through this common goal," said Kanuha. "We ask humbly that people who come to the mountain with us commit to a peaceful protest."

 

The BLNR will meet Friday at 9 a.m. at the Kalanimoku Building in the Land Board Conference Room 132. According to the agenda, the board won't consider the rule until at least 1 p.m.

Read the entire logs released by the University of Hawaii below.

 

Ranger Reports March - July 2015 by Hawaii Public Radio

Mauna Kea Visitor Information Station Log 2015 by Hawaii Public Radio