State House Maunakea task force recommends nine-member board to oversee state-run lands on Mauna

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The state House of Representatives Maunakea Task Force has submitted its final report to Hose Chairman Scott K. Saiki and recommends the formation of a new council to oversee state-run lands on the mountain.

The report recommends a nine-member council to manage the Maunakea lands above the 6,500 foot elevation line. The council, guided by Native Hawaiian values, would include government officials, people with certain areas of expertise, and members of the Native Hawaiian community.

Although the astronomy community is not directly represented on the council, an astronomy advisory group is to be created to provide advice and guidance to the new council. To ensure the protection and stewardship of Maunakea, the council would develop a framework to limit astronomy development on the mountain, including a plan to return the mauna above 9,200 feet to its natural state. .

The report also recommends prohibiting commercial use and activities above Hale Pōhaku.

In addition, a proper gateway to Maunakea would be established to gather user information, establish an educational outreach station, collect fees, and close access to the mountain in case of an emergency. An application, including a fee, would also be required for all recreational users of Maunakea.

THE ARTICLE CONTINUES UNDER THE AD

House Bill 2024 was introduced by Representatives Mark Nakashima, Ty Cullen, Stacelynn Eli and David Tarnas, who participated in the working group.

THE ARTICLE CONTINUES UNDER THE AD

“We encourage members of the community to express their thoughts on the proposal during the legislative session, said Nakashima, chair of the task force. The task force received hundreds of comments on its draft report.

The 15-member Maunakea Task Force was created by House Resolution 33, Session Laws of Hawaii 2021. It included lawmakers and key stakeholders, including seven members of the Native Hawaiian community.

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