Public feedback needed for update to Maunakea management plan
News Release from University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo, Mar 14, 2022
Link to video and sound: https://bit.ly/3In7Iy1
The University of Hawaiʻi is seeking public input on an update to the 2009 Maunakea Comprehensive Management Plan (CMP), the management framework approved by the Board of Land and Natural Resources (BLNR) for Maunakea lands managed by UH. The 2009 CMP identified 103 management actions addressing existing and future activities and uses, such as astronomy, recreational activities, commercial activities, scientific research, cultural activities and religious activities.
The 2009 CMP, 2022 Master Plan and the Maunakea Administrative Rules are the three primary tools that guide the UH Hilo Center for Maunakea Stewardship (CMS), the unit responsible for lands managed by UH on the mauna.
UH is asking the public to provide feedback on the Comprehensive Management Plan 2022 Supplement: Management Action Updates (CMP Supplement). The draft CMP Supplement updates the 2009 CMP management actions, provides concise guidance on implementing the updated management actions and establishes clear measurements of progress. Key updates to the management actions include:
- Improve coordination with the Native Hawaiian community and protection of Maunakea’s resources (cultural, natural and scientific).
- Incorporate possible approaches to UH access management to minimize the potential impacts of activities and uses.
- Refine the management of activities and uses within the built environment to reduce potential impacts.
The draft CMP Supplement does not propose projects or land uses. It must be approved by the UH Board of Regents (BOR) and then approved by the BLNR at public meetings to take effect.
Adaptive management used to develop CMP supplement
The draft CMP Supplement updates the 2009 CMP management actions using the adaptive management principle to improve management activities based on new data.
The formal process, outlined in the 2009 CMP, utilizes learned outcomes, information/data collected (including UH annual reports to Department of Land and Natural Resources, Outcome Analysis Report), and input from resource experts (including Native Hawaiian cultural practitioners, state agencies, etc.). This information informed whether each of the 2009 CMP management actions would be left intact, updated, adapted or eliminated if completed.
Public feedback encouraged
Public input will be accepted through March 31, 2022 and comments can be made directly on the draft CMP supplement at MaunakeaStewardship.org. There will be a link at the top page to an easy-to-use online platform that simplifies public review and engagement. It provides background information and easy-to-follow instructions on providing feedback online, via telephone messages and by mail.
“All of us have an interest, no matter what that interest may be—cultural, environmental, commercial, recreational—in participating in this important process,” said Greg Chun, the CMS executive director. “We need to hear from everyone on what we’re proposing to do in this update to the CMP, which has already had a tremendous impact on improving the stewardship of the mauna.”
The draft CMP Supplement will be amended based on the public comments/feedback received and go to the BOR for public review and possibly further changes. Upon BOR approval, it is anticipated to go before the BLNR later this year.
Management plans and land authorization updates
CMS has been in the process of updating its management tools, with extensive public outreach, to improve the stewardship of the mauna:
- The new Master Plan adopted by the BOR in 2022 guides land-use decisions and replaces the 2000 Master Plan.
- Administrative Rules signed by Gov. David Ige in 2020 addresses public and commercial activities on lands managed by UH on Maunakea.
- The CMP, which is currently being updated, was approved by the BLNR in 2009 to provide a comprehensive management framework.
UH is also working on an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) that will address proposed future UH land authorization for Maunakea as the end of UH's current 65-year lease in 2033 approaches. The draft EIS is tentatively scheduled for release for public comment around midyear 2022.
UH is asking that individuals with information on the cultural resources, practices, and beliefs found and practiced within lands managed by UH on Maunakea participate in a Cultural Impact Assessment (CIA), which is part of the draft EIS. Go to http://www.pcsihawaii.com/mkcia to learn more about the CIA, participate in the cultural practices questionnaire and view the EIS Preparation Notice. CIA questionnaires will be accepted through March 31, 2022.