OMKM also proposes some new guidelines

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In addition to the state Land Board, the Office of Mauna Kea Management also is proposing new access rules for Mauna Kea, though they are not in direct response to the ongoing protests.

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In addition to the state Land Board, the Office of Mauna Kea Management also is proposing new access rules for Mauna Kea, though they are not in direct response to the ongoing protests.

The proposals, which were released for public review last month, would for the first time give the office legal tools similar to those used in national parks to govern public and commercial activities.

They include limiting summit access to four-wheel drive vehicles, requiring groups headed to the summit with more than 10 people to get a permit, and requiring vehicles to be cleared of invasive species.

Additionally, access and parking fees might be charged in the future, rangers would be vested with power to temporarily close sensitive environmental areas and crack down on illegal tours, and drones would be banned.

The proposed changes can be viewed at http://tinyurl.com/mkaccess.

Public meetings for the proposals are expected to be slated in late fall, according to a University of Hawaii spokesman. The office operates under UH-Hilo.

Open house meetings were hosted around the Big Island on the subject late last month. About 130 people attended, the spokesman said.

UH manages the 11,288-acre Mauna Kea Science Reserve, which is leased from the state Department of Land and Natural Resources.

The rules need approval from the state Board of Land and Natural Resources, UH Board of Regents, and the governor.

DLNR granted UH rule-making authority in 2009. The process was put on hold for years during the contested case hearing for the Thirty Meter Telescope.

On Friday, BLNR will consider enforcing emergency rules, apparently in response to TMT protests, restricting access within 1 mile of the Mauna Kea Access Road.

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West Hawaii Today reporter Bret Yager contributed to this report.

Email Tom Callis at tcallis@hawaiitribune-herald.com.

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