Maunakea Stewardship

Kahu Kū Mauna

An ahu, built at the Maunakea summit Kahu Kū Mauna (Guardians of the Mountain) is a volunteer community-based council whose members are from the native Hawaiian community. Kahu Kū Mauna advises the Mauna Kea Management Board, Center for Maunakea Stewardship, and the UH Hilo Chancellor on Hawaiian cultural matters affecting the UH Management Areas. They review proposed projects and give their input to the Mauna Kea Management Board. A member of Kahu Kū Mauna participates in the discussions of the Mauna Kea Management Board during their public meetings.

Mission Statement

Rangers provide a safety briefing for hikers at Hale Pohaku Kahu Kū Mauna serves Maunakea by offering a Hawaiian perspective to those entrusted with stewardship, guiding the protection of cultural practices and sites, recognition of intangible environmental and spiritual qualities, and nurturing co-existence.

Vision Statement

Maunakea kū haʻo i ka mālie – Kahu Kū Mauna is a trusted advisor to those who mālama Maunakea, providing past, present, and future insight for balanced decision-making. We foster environmental kinship, stewardship, and fortify connections between ʻāina and community.

Maunakea kū haʻo i ka mālie

is adapted from a proverb found in ʻŌlelo Noʻeau, #2147, translated as

Maunakea, standing alone in the calm.”

Maunakea covered by the snow

Mālama” is the action of stewardship, care, and preservation entrusted to the entities advised by Kahu Kū Mauna.

ʻĀina” is the physical landscape and environment of Maunakea.


Current Kahu Kū Mauna members are:

  • Shane Palacat-Nelsen (Chair)
  • Uʻilani Naipo
  • Wally Lau
  • Kimo Lee
  • Noelani Cashman-Aiu

Are you interested in joining?

Complete an Application (PDF)