Science and Projects

Project Rules

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Notify CMS in writing at least 5 but no more than 14 days prior to beginning field work on UH-managed lands (Halepōhaku, Road Corridor, Maunakea Science Reserve, or Astronomy Precinct). This notification MUST:

  • Be sent via US mail to the "Center for Maunakea Stewardship" or via email to; alternative notifications will not be acknowledged.
  • Identify by name-of-entity all observatories, contractors, vendors, suppliers, etc. anticipated to be associated with and substantively present on UH-managed lands at any time during the project.
  • Attest that all individuals anticipated to be associated with the project have completed the Maunakea User Orientation before the time of notification.
  • Identify the date that work will commence; an approximate date or range of potential dates will not be accepted.
  • Identify the affiliated individual(s) who will be coordinating all invasive species inspections.
  • Attest that the observatory or relevant entity will ensure compliance with all permit conditions and communicate with CMS if there is any uncertainty, and notify CMS in writing of other entities responsible for elements of compliance.
  • State if a pre-project meeting with CMS is requested before work commences. Such a meeting is highly recommended for any project beyond activities completed by existing observatory staff. These meetings review orientation content, implications of project non-compliance, project-specific concerns regarding resource protection, health and safety, impacts to visitors, etc. They may be held in person, via phone, via webinar, or by other means.
  • No project notification will be accepted by CMS until all permit requirements are submitted to and approved by CMS. Any required Best Management Practices, Communication Plans, contract scope questions, etc. must be finalized and approved by CMS at least 5 days in advance of project commencement.
  • CMS is not liable or responsible for delays due to inadequate or late submissions or submissions requiring verification.

Prepare to Start the Project

  • CMS will provide a written reply explicitly verifying if the project is approved to commence (i.e. issue a "notice to proceed"); no project work may commence before this time.
  • All project participants must attend or view a Maunakea orientation and obtain the accordant certificate of completion prior to participating in field work.
  • A copy of the approval/permit must be present on-site and available for review at all times while working on UH-managed lands.
  • Identify and comply with other permit requirements, such as County of Hawaiʻi building permits or Department of Land & Natural Resources permits (see both any applicable DLNR permit and HAR §13-5-42 Standard conditions).
  • Use of lighting from sunset to sunrise is prohibited unless described in the project proposal and approved.
  • Use of cell-phones, other than in airplane mode, is prohibited except in case of emergency.
  • Use of real-time GPS during any surveying or equipment operation requires advance written approval from CMS and the Institute for Astronomy. Written approval should be requested at least 4 weeks prior to the proposed activity.
  • No use of mechanized equipment is allowed unless authorized by this permit.
  • Allow CMS Rangers to visit and monitor activities.

Transportation and Motorized Equipment

  • Use of 4-wheel drive vehicles, with 4-wheel drive engaged, when traveling above Halepōhaku is required.
  • Motorized equipment, when stationary, must have a drain-pan in place suitable for catching fuel or fluid leaks.
  • To allow for expansion with reduced atmospheric pressure, fuel tanks should not be more than 3/4 full prior to transport to the summit (except in vehicles used for transport to the summit).
  • Large, heavy, non-4-wheel drive or oversized loads must submit notification to the Maunakea Road Conditions listserve at least one-day prior to delivery. Loads requiring an escort on public roadways must have this escort accompany them to the final destination. Projects wishing not to do so must obtain approval from the Maunakea Rangers before arriving at Halepōhaku. Projects failing to submit notification or arrange for escort to the summit may be denied entry to Halepōhaku or above.

Weather Conditions

  • High wind conditions protocols must ensure debris and equipment are not blown from the job site. Projects occurring in the summit region must verify that temporary and permanent infrastructure can sustain 120mph winds.
  • All improvements shall be designed and installed to withstand the severe weather conditions on the mountain.

Environmental Concerns

  • Remove and properly dispose of all waste material. All perishable items including food, food wrappers and containers, etc. must be removed from the site at the end of each day and properly disposed of.
  • Nēnē (Branta sandvicensis) may be present. If a nēnē appears within 100 feet (30.5 meters) of ongoing work, all activity shall be temporarily suspended until the animal leaves the area of its own accord. Feeding of nēnē is prohibited.
  • Ensure that loose tools or equipment are not left unattended at any time and are properly stored at the end of each day.

Invasive Species Prevention

An invasive weed species growing on MaunakeaInvasive sheep sorrel (Rumex acetocella)

  • Employ invasive species prevention best practices, including inspections of materials by a DLNR-approved biologist, as identified in the Maunakea Invasive Species Management Plan prior to entering UH-managed lands. Every inspection request submitted to CMS shall include correspondence with the representative(s) identified in the initial notification. Inspections can only occur at locations where landowners have given permission (i.e. facilities, baseyards, and vendor locations). Inspections shall not occur on UH-managed lands on Maunakea, at State or County parks, along public roadsides, or on Department of Hawaiian Homelands lands.
  • Identify the representative(s) in the initial notification who will be coordinating all invasive species related inspections.

Upon Project Completion

  • Placement of permanent markers, monuments, mag nails, or survey pins, etc. is not allowed without explicit prior approval from CMS (and the State if required). ALL surveyors' work must be shared with CMS in digital format with coordinate info stored in and using a common, transferrable coordinate reference system such as “State Plane Coordinates (NAD83), Hawaiʻi Zone 1”.
  • Unless otherwise stated in the proposal, copies of all data, field notes, photos, log books, collected specimens, and other forms of documentation will be shared with CMS for future, unrestricted use by CMS or its designee. All geospatial data, metadata or applications must be in a format compatible with CMS GIS software or other industry standard identified in advance.
  • Collected specimens that are not consumed in analysis will be returned to CMS unless otherwise specified.
  • Electronic and paper copies of all publications resulting from the work will be provided to CMS.
  • When applicable, annual and final reports must be submitted to CMS which will provide guidance on content to be included in such reports.
  • When applicable, a brief, approximately 1-page, non-technical summary suitable for public outreach (school groups, community meetings, newsletter articles, etc.) must be provided to CMS within 90 days of project completion or publication. Photos and illustrations are encouraged.
  • Notify CMS in writing when field activity associated with the project is completed. This notification must list all steps identified in the "notice to proceed" and explicitly communicate the status of completion.
  • The project must be completed within the time frame specified in the proposal and (when applicable) approved by DLNR. Projects that cannot be completed within this timeframe are not allowed to continue (or commence) without explicit prior written approval from CMS.