Maunakea Stewardship

Community-based Stewardship

Maunakea stewardship requires input and participation from the community regarding daily activities, development of policies and programs, and review of proposed projects. Whether volunteering for weed-pulling or serving as a member of Mauna Kea Management Board, Kahu Kū Mauna council, or the Environment Committee, community involvement is a vital part of Maunakea stewardship.

The Center for Maunakea Stewardship, together with the Mauna Kea Management Board and Kahu Kū Mauna share responsibility for implementing the Mauna Kea Science Reserve Master Plan (2000) and the Mauna Kea Comprehensive Management Plan (2019).

Maunakea Management Board

The Maunakea Management Board poses for a group photograph The Maunakea Management Board provides the community with a sustained direct voice for the management of Maunakea. The Board is composed of seven members from the community nominated by the University of Hawaiʻi Hilo (UH Hilo) Chancellor and approved by the UH Board of Regents. The volunteer members represent a cross-section of the community and serve as the community’s voice, providing input on operations and activities, developing policies, and reviewing and providing recommendations for land uses planned for Maunakea. Meeting agendas, materials, and minutes are available for review. Visit the State of Hawaiʻi, Office of Information Practices, Calendar of Events for formal meeting notice and agenda.

Kahu Kū Mauna

KKM-Summit Lele Kahu Kū Mauna (Guardians of the Mountain) is a community-based volunteer council whose members are from the native Hawaiian community. Kahu Kū Mauna advises the Maunakea Management Board (MKMB), the Center for Maunakea Stewardship (CMS), and the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo (UHH) Chancellor on Hawaiian cultural matters affecting the UH Management Areas. They review proposed projects and give their input to the Maunakea Management Board, and a member of Kahu Kū Mauna participates in the discussions of the Board during its public meetings.

Environment Committee

The Maunakea Environment Committee (MEC) advises the Maunakea Management Board, the Center for Maunakea Stewardship, and the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo Chancellor on environmental issues, protection and enhancement of the natural environment, and resource management practices to advance the stewardship of Maunakea’s natural resources. The MEC members serve as subject matter experts on environmental matters to support evidence-based, holistically evaluated planning, project management, and policy development by the University.

Maunakea Observatories

Maunakea is home to some of the largest optical, infrared, and radio telescopes in the world, including the twin Keck telescopes, Japan’s Subaru telescope, the Gemini North telescope, the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope (CFHT), the United Kingdom Infrared Telescope (UKIRT), NASA’s Infrared Telescope Facility (IRTF), the University of Hawaiʻi 2.2m telescope (UH 88), the James Clerk Maxwell Telescope (JCMT), the Smithsonian’s Submillimeter Array (SMA), and the westernmost dish of the U. S. National Radio Astronomy Observatory’s Very Long Base Array (VLBA). The University of Hawaiʻi Institute for Astronomy (IfA) coordinates scientific research among the Maunakea Observatories as well as carrying out its own research and education programs using time allocated at each observatory as part of its sublease agreements. The Mauna Kea Astronomy Outreach Committee (MKAOC) coordinates and organizes the collective outreach efforts of Maunakea Observatories and supports related organizations such as the Maunakea Visitor Information Station (VIS).

Maunakea Rangers

The ranger program started in 2000 to provide daily oversight of activities on UH managed lands, to protect the resources and to provide for public safety. A key responsibility of the Rangers is informing visitors about the cultural, natural and scientific significance of the mauna, as well as the hazards of visiting the mountain. They conduct daily patrols between the mid-level (9,200') facilities and the summit. Patrol reports are submitted daily. Rangers perform a variety of other duties as well, including providing emergency assistance, assisting stranded motorists, coordinating litter removal, conducting trail maintenance, and inspecting the observatories for compliance with their Conservation District Use Permits.

Maunakea rangers