Conference Committee Issues Proposed Draft to Create Mauna Kea Stewardship and Oversight Authority
News Release from Hawaii House Democratic Caucus, April 26, 2022
Honolulu, Hawai‘i – This afternoon, the legislative conference committee on House Bill (HB) 2024, Relating to Mauna Kea, issued a proposed conference draft (CD 1).
CD 1 restructures the management of Mauna Kea by creating the Mauna Kea Stewardship and Oversight Authority.
The University of Hawaii currently manages Mauna Kea under a 65-year master lease with the Department of Land and Natural Resources. CD 1 addresses several concerns raised by the University of Hawaii, including its continued access to viewing time.
A summary and copy of CD 1 are attached.
The conference committee will reconvene to discuss CD 1 on Thursday, April 28, 2022, 1:30PM, State Capitol Room 016.
The conference committee on HB 2024 was created to resolve differences between the last House and Senate version of the bill. The conference committee is comprised of the following:
House: Representatives Tarnas, Nakashima, Branco, Co-Chairs; Eli, and McDermott
Senate: Senators Kim, Chair; Keith-Agaran, Co-Chair; Kanuha, and Fevella
UPDATE: Mauna Kea Stewardship and Oversight Authority to be Created
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MAUNA KEA STEWARDSHIP AND OVERSIGHT AUTHORITY
(HB 2024, Proposed CD1 - Summary)
“The critical significance of Mauna Kea for both culture and science offers an urgent and unique opportunity to surmount the dichotomy and develop new ways to mutually steward Mauna Kea. Therefore, a reformation of the stewardship of Mauna Kea is an issue of the highest priority of the State.” “The purpose of the Mauna Kea stewardship and oversight authority is to protect Mauna Kea for future generations and manage the lands contained therein for the purpose of fostering a mutual stewardship paradigm in which ecology, the environment, natural resources, cultural practices, education, and science are in balance and synergy.”
• Astronomy is the policy of the state.
• 11-member Authority, appointed by Governor and confirmed by Senate DLNR, UH Board of Regents, Hawaii Island Mayor, observatories’ representative, 5 citizens (land management, education, business/finance, lineal descendant practitioner, cultural practitioner), 2 citizens (from list submitted by senate president and speaker of the house; UH Hilo chancellor non-voting ex-officio)
• 5-year transition period (from confirmation of members)
o UH handles day-to-day management
o Authority stands up, plans for the future, establishes processes and rules
o Reports to Legislature
o Recommends creation of a Mauna Kea Reserve (which lands, purposes)
o May enter into any work intended to prepare for post-transition period
o Transition period can be shortened if agreed to by UH and Authority
o Moratorium on any new lease or renewal of lease
• Post-transition period
o Authority assumes powers and responsibilities of DLNR and LUC (precedent – Kaho‘olawe Island Reserve Commission; shorter than 5-years if agreed to by Authority, DLNR and LUC) over the lands in the Maunakea Reserve
o Authority takes over day-to-day management (i.e. assumes the position of UH vis-à-vis the master lease)
o UH is released from legal obligations, except for any previous lawsuits
• Master lease
o Remains in effect until end of term in 2033, along with sub-leases
o Authority makes policy about land use and land management during transition period
o Authority may enter into discussions with observatories during transition period
o New lease(s) may be acted upon in post-transition period (from o/a 2028)
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House Dems: Representative David A. Tarnas' Remarks on House Bill 2024, Relating to Mauna Kea
SA: Mauna Kea proposal now pushes University of Hawaii away from oversight
HTH: Maunakea bill changed again; vote on Thursday
PDF: Committee Draft HB2024 H.D.1 S.D.2 C.D.1
HB2024: Text, Status