Final EA: UH Hilo finds no significant impact from proposed improvements to Maunakea visitor center

UH Hilo has released a Final Environmental Assessment and Finding of No Significant Impact determination for infrastructure improvements at Maunakea Visitor Information Station.

Maunakea Visitor Information Station
Maunakea Visitor Information Station

The University of Hawai’i at Hilo has reviewed the comments received on the Draft Environmental Assessment for Infrastructure Improvements at Maunakea Visitor Information Station during the 30-day public comment period that ended on April 7, 2017. UH Hilo has determined that the resulting project will not have significant environmental impacts and has approved the Final Environmental Assessment with a Finding of No Significant Impact determination (published August 23, 2017, in The Environmental Notice).

The proposal

UH Hilo is proposing a set of infrastructure improvements at Halepōhaku to accommodate and address the increase in the number of visitors to the mountain; ensure the safety of visitors and workers; prevent unintended impacts to natural, historic, and cultural resources on the Halepōhaku and adjacent parcels; and comply with the Board of Land and Natural Resources approved Maunakea Comprehensive Management Plan.

The Proposed Action includes:

  • Removal of one longhouse.
  • A new means of ingress and egress for vehicles to the visitor station, including a new access lane and parking area, adjustments to existing parking are, paving of an unimproved foot path to create a walkway connecting the new parking area with the station, and a new paved walkway to connect the new parking area to the existing longhouse and drainage features.
  • Installation of two gates.
  • New greenhouse.

Project activities would occur on the university’s leased lands. The access to the ingress/egress and the new parking area would be through access points identified in the Halepōhaku parcel lease.

The next step for this project is a Conservation District Use Application, which is one of the required permits for implementation. The application will be announced in a future edition of the Office of Environmental Quality Control’s “The Environmental Notice” and posted for review on the Department of Land and Natural Resources Office of Conservation and Coastal Lands website.


Stephanie Nagata.


-Media release