Panel recommends UH no longer manage any part of Maunakea

A committee formed earlier this year to discuss alternate management structures for Maunakea is recommending a wholly new body take over management of the entire mountain over the next three years.

The Maunakea Working Group, which first convened in July after being formed by a legislative resolution, released a report today recommending the formation of an organization, referred to as the Governing Entity, that would manage all state-owned lands on Maunakea above the 6,500-foot elevation line.


Hilo Rep. Mark Nakashima, who is chair of the working group, said he hopes legislation can be introduced in 2022 that can formally create the Governing Entity as a body attached to the Office of the Chairperson of the Board of Land and Natural Resources.

The Governing Entity would then work with the University of Hawaii — which currently manages the summit area of Maunakea — with the aim of a full transition of power within three years.

Nakashima said it is yet to be determined what would happen to the current observatories on Maunakea under this proposed structure, but the working group’s report states that the Governing Entity would “establish a plan to return the mauna above 9,200 feet elevation to its natural state.”

The working group’s draft report is available for review at

Public comments on the report are being accepted until Jan. 4 and can be sent to

Nakashima said the working group will reconvene in January to discuss public feedback.

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