Mauna Kea Rally + Hearing • Feb. 12th 9:30 AM • Hilo County Building
It’s been a full year since closing arguments were made in the contested case hearing on the proposal to build another telescope on Mauna Kea. The University of Hawai‘i proposes to build the 18-story, 8-acre TMT on the northern plateau, one of the last unobstructed viewplanes from the sacred mountain. The Mauna Kea hui, including KAHEA, Mauna Kea Anaina Hou, and several cultural practitioners and conservationists, filed a challenge against the Department of Land and Natural Resources’ approval of the project. While the Hearing Officer is making his decision in the case, we ponder some basic questions:
There exists a Mauna Kea Management Board, which is described as community-based management and oversight for the mountain. Yet, the UH Board of Regents appoints 100% of the members of this Board, and benefits financially from accelerated development. Is that a fair and impartial process?
Mauna Kea is currently leased to UH for 65 years at $1 per year. State law requires state land (former crown and government lands) be leased for fair market value. If “viewing time” at telescopes on Mauna Kea can go for $80,000/night, then how is $1 a year rent remotely fair-market value?
The sweetheart 65-year-lease will end soon; does this mean Mauna Kea could be PLDC’d? PLDC-ing Mauna Kea means the Conservation District rules no longer apply. Telescopes, hotels, anything could be built on Mauna Kea with no permit, no management plan, and definitely no opportunity for appeal to a court.
The time has come to once again show your support for the sacred summit of Mauna Kea.
BLNR Hearing on TMT Construction Permit
Tuesday, February 12, 2013
Hilo County Building
25 Aupuni Street, 96720
9:30 AM Gathering outside building
11:00 AM Hearing in room 1401 (public testimony is not allowed; but please
come to support the petitioners as they give their final arguments)
On Tuesday, the Board of Land and Natural Resources (BLNR) will hear final oral arguments from the parties on the construction permit for the Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT). Please support us as we seek to protect Mauna Kea from further industrialization.
Mauna Kea is overbuilt. The TMT Environmental Impact Statement says that industrial telescope structures on Mauna Kea have had a “significant, substantial, and adverse impact” on the natural and cultural resources of this conservation district. With a construction footprint of 8 acres and building height of 18 stories, the TMT would contribute to the over-industrialization of the fragile conservation area of this sacred mountain.
The rules meant to protect conservation areas in Hawaii specifically prohibit any activity that would have a substantial adverse impact on the resources of the conservation district. The BLNR’s failure to follow its own rules for decades is why Mauna Kea is overbuilt today -- threatened by invasive species, contaminated with toxic spills, and littered with industrial buildings.
We have a chance to end the mismanagement of the Mauna Kea Conservation District starting with this permit application. Please join us on Tuesday to show your support for the sacred summit of Mauna Kea and make a tax-free donation to the Mauna Kea Legal Defense Fund today.