THE SENATE

S.R. NO.

103

THIRTY-FIRST LEGISLATURE, 2021

 

STATE OF HAWAII

 

 

 

 

 

SENATE RESOLUTION

 

 

urging the governor and board of land and natural resources to terminate the university of hawaii's lease of THE mauna kea SUMMIT and to work with the community to develop a new plan and management structure for the mountain.

 

 


WHEREAS, Article XII, section 4, of the Hawaii State Constitution provides that the State holds public land as a public trust for Native Hawaiians and the general public; and

 

WHEREAS, the Mauna Kea summit area is made up of former Hawaiian Kingdom crown and government lands that are now part of the public land trust, in which Native Hawaiians have an unrelinquished interest; and

 

WHEREAS, the University of Hawaii has been responsible for the management of Mauna Kea since 1968, pursuant to a lease with the Board of Land and Natural Resources; and

 

WHEREAS, the sixty-five year lease of the Mauna Kea Summit to the University of Hawaii is currently due to expire in 2033; and

 

WHEREAS, the Mauna Kea summit area is considered by many to be a sacred place and continues to be an important location for Native Hawaiians to conduct traditional and customary practices; and

 

WHEREAS, Article XII, section 7, of the Hawaii State Constitution also requires the State to "protect all rights, customarily and traditionally exercised for subsistence, cultural and religious purposes and possessed by ahupuaa tenants who are descendants of native Hawaiians"; and

 

WHEREAS, despite these constitutional requirements, the University of Hawaii has done a poor job of consulting with and recognizing and protecting the interests of Native Hawaiians since observatory construction began there in the 1960s; and

 

WHEREAS, recent events surrounding the development of the Thirty Meter Telescope has increased public awareness of the University of Hawaii's mismanagement of Mauna Kea; and

 

WHEREAS, it is now appropriate for a new management plan and structure for Mauna Kea to be developed and implemented; and

 

WHEREAS, it is critical for the Native Hawaiian community, including Department of Hawaiian Home Lands homesteaders residing in the County of Hawaii, to be empowered to establish any future plan and management structure for Mauna Kea; now, therefore,

 

BE IT RESOLVED by the Senate of the Thirty-first Legislature of the State of Hawaii, Regular Session of 2021, that the Governor and the Board of Land and Natural Resources are urged to terminate the University of Hawaii's lease of the Mauna Kea Science Reserve and related facilities and easements by the end of the calendar year 2021; and

 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that, due to the University of Hawaii's mismanagement of the Thirty Meter Telescope project, the State is urged to cease development of the Thirty Meter Telescope immediately; and

 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Governor, Board of Land and Natural Resources, and Mayor of the County of Hawaii are urged to immediately begin working with the Native Hawaiian community, including Department of Hawaiian Home Lands homesteaders residing in the County of Hawaii, and other beneficiaries of the public land trust to develop a new plan and structure for the management of Mauna Kea; and

 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the State and County of Hawaii are urged to support any plan developed by the Native Hawaiian community, including any plan that requires the restoration of Mauna Kea to its natural state; and


BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that certified copies of this Resolution be transmitted to the Governor, Chairperson of the Board of Land and Natural Resources, President of the University of Hawaii, and Mayor of the County of Hawaii.

 

 

 

 

OFFERED BY:

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Report Title:

Public Lands; Mauna Kea; Management; University of Hawaii; County of Hawaii