Center for Maunakea Stewardship (CMS)

The University of Hawaiʻi is privileged to be responsible for the stewardship of significant lands on Maunakea and for providing a holistic approach to astronomy research on the mauna. The Center for Maunakea Stewardship was established in August 2020 to create clear lines of responsibility for stewardship of the mauna with one unified command for the area's prodigious cultural, scientific, and educational resources. The center combines the Office of Maunakea Management and Maunakea Observatories Support Services under the Executive Director for Maunakea Stewardship and formalizes the collaborative roles for the UH Institute for Astronomy and UH Hilo ʻImiloa Astronomy Center. See the UH Commitment to Maunakea and Hawaiʻi for more information.

The moon appears through clouds which are overshadowed by the peak of Maunakea

Administrative Rules

Management actions enabled by the administrative rules are now being implemented and include processes to manage access in order to limit excessive traffic, updating commercial tour operator guidelines, and setting up administrative systems for managing our authorities under the rules. The UH Board of Regents adopted administrative rules for Maunakea (HAR Chapter 20-26) on November 6, 2019, which were approved by Governor David Ige on January 13, 2020. See the UH Commitment to Maunakea and Hawaiʻi for more information.

An official directs traffic heading up the Maunakea access road

Decommissioning

A telescope dome atop Maunakea is slated for decommissioning

The University of Hawaiʻi is committed to the removal of five telescopes on UH-managed lands on Maunakea, followed by restoration of each site to its original state, to the greatest extent possible. Decommissioning of the first two telescopes is tentatively scheduled to be completed by 2023. See the Decommissioning page for more information. Read more news about CSO decommissioning.

New Master Plan; Evaluation and Update of Comprehensive Management Plan

Please see the draft of the new Maunakea Master Plan.

Maunakea is a revered mountain that will continue to host world-class education and research. The university is currently seeking input on a new master plan to replace the Mauna Kea Science Reserve Master Plan. The plan will outline a vision for Maunakea that balances cultural practice, recreation, the unique educational and research opportunities and scientific discovery offered on Maunakea, with minimal disturbance to the mauna.

UH is also in the process of evaluating and updating the Comprehensive Management Plan, which involves a review of the 103 management actions listed in the plan. Both plans are expected to be submitted to the UH BOR for approval in 2022. Multiple rounds of outreach with stakeholders and the Native Hawaiian community and broader community are planned and already in process. See the UH Commitment to Maunakea and Hawaiʻi for more information.

A geologist researches lava rock near the Maunakea summit

New Land Authorization

An aerial view of the Maunakea summit shows existing structures

The university is preparing a draft environmental impact statement for the proposed land authorization to replace the two existing leases and easements on UH-managed lands on Maunakea. The public consultation and outreach process has started, and will continue as a request is prepared and goes to the Board of Land and Natural Resources for approval.

Reports and Documentation

Government reports on Maunakea Stewardship

UH annual reports to Hawaiʻi Department of Land and Natural Resources
Table 4: Management plans and annual report
Reports from the State Office of the Auditor
Table 3: Reports from the State Office of the Auditor
UH annual reports on Maunakea Lands to Hawaiʻi State Legislature
Search each year for UH Annual Report on the Mauna Kea Lands
2021: Annual Report on Maunakea Lands (PDF)
2020: Annual Report on Maunakea Lands (PDF)
2019: Annual Report on Maunakea Lands (PDF)
2018: Annual Report on Maunakea Lands (PDF)
2017: Annual Report on Maunakea Lands (PDF)
Annual Reports from 2016-2002

Additional information

EnVision Maunakea report on complexities surrounding Maunakea
In-depth report from more than 100 diverse Hawaiʻi Island voices
UHERO study on the Economic Impact of Astronomy on the State of Hawaiʻi
Report on economic activity generated by Hawaiʻi’s astronomy sector, August 28, 2014 (PDF)
Conservation District Use Permits on Maunakea
All observatories and land uses on Maunakea lands require permits or approvals from DLNR or BLNR.
Table 1: Conservation District Use Permits and Applications
TMT Permitting and Environmental Review
The Findings of Fact, Conclusions of Law, and Decision and Order regarding Conservation District Use Permit (CDUP) HA-3568 for the Thirty Meter Telescope, environmental impact statement, and other materials related to TMT.
Maunakea and TMT misinformation fact check
FAQ providing fact-based information