DLNR AND UH THINK YOU DO NOT MATTER.
TELL DLNR AND UH TO HOLD PUBLIC HEARINGS
ON THE NEXT MAUNA KEA 65 YEAR LEASE.
STAND UP FOR YOUR FUTURE.
The discussion regarding the NEXT Master Lease for Mauna Kea is being negotiated now. New lease provisions will soon decide the land management regime of the Summit for the next 65 years.
The Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) and the University of Hawaii (UH) want a new long-term, generous and favorable lease for the continued internationally prestigious astronomy development. Specifically, the Thirty Meter Telescope Observatory corporation (made up of the University of California and CalTech, along with foreign partners from Canada, Japan, China, and India) needs new Mauna Kea leases to legally begin construction on their 18 story tall, $1.4 Billion observatory.
If the DLNR fails to seek public input or from the cultural practitioners, the people of Hawaii cannot help but see this as an act of bad faith. Moreover, the fact that the DLNR may exempt this new lease from Chapter 343 regarding EIS requirements cannot but be compared to the Public Land Development Corporation, which Hawaii’s people have successfully opposed.
It is also not enough for the Kahu Ku Mauna Council, a hand-picked few, chosen to advise the University of Hawaii at Hilo on Mauna Kea matters, to sign off on the new lease, for all Hawaiians.
The UH got exactly what they wanted the first time, a $1.00 a year lease and near-unfettered control of the summit. What did the State of Hawai‘i receive in return for this agreement? When the University was audited by the state in 1998, State Auditor Marion Higa concluded:
“Over thirty years have passed since construction of the first telescope on Mauna Kea. During this period, little was done to protect its natural
resources. The university, as the leaseholder, should have provided sufficient protection to the natural resources and controlled public access and use. These requirements have not been adequately met. The Department of Land and Natural Resources, in its role as landlord, should have overseen the university’s activities and enforced permit conditions and regulations in protecting the State’s interests. Neither state agency has been proactive in maintaining the conservation district. The University has failed in the management of these lands.”
The University continues to fail in its protection of the natural and cultural heritage that is Mauna Kea.
The public must be involved. The Native Hawaiian cultural practitioners, including those who were compelled to rely on the judicial system, must be a party in the discussions and decision making.
Any decision regarding future Mauna Kea leases needs to be made in the full light of public scrutiny, with public input and public awareness of consequences of the lease arrangement. The failures of improper land management that began in 1968 must not be cemented into the next 65 year lease.
We need communications from many individuals and organizations asking DLNR Chairman William Aila and the UH Board of Regents to hold public hearings on this controversial land management issue.
1151 Punchbowl St.
Honolulu, HI 96813
Ph: (808) 587-0400
UH Board of Regents
2444 Dole Street, Bachman Hall, Room 209
Honolulu, HI 96822
Mahalo for your Actions
Contact Nelson Ho for more information.
198 Hoku St.
Ph. 933-2650 c: 315-4850
Hilo, HI 96720