Information on Maunakea cultural practices and resources sought
News Release from University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo, Feb 22, 2022
The University of Hawaiʻi is seeking persons with expertise on the cultural resources, practices and beliefs found and practiced within UH managed areas on Maunakea. Through this effort, the university will advance its understanding of the role of Maunakea in Hawaiian culture and the possible effects on cultural practices by future land authorizations.
This outreach effort will contribute to the preparation of a Cultural Impact Assessment (CIA) for an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) that will address proposed future UH land authorization for Maunakea. UH’s current land authorization for the mauna, a 65-year lease, ends in 2033.
The CIA will identify and evaluate the possible cultural impacts of the alternatives being considered in the EIS including: 1) a new land authorization comprising the existing UH managed lands on Maunakea; 2) a new land authorization for a substantially smaller area comprised of the area where existing astronomy facilities are located, Halepōhaku, and the roadway connecting the two areas; and 3) the no action alternative.
Many past studies, including several by UH, have documented the significance of Maunakea in Hawaiian culture. Since those studies were published, community interest has increased and a new generation of cultural practitioners have become active. Both new and longstanding practitioners are encouraged to participate in the process.
Go to http://www.pcsihawaii.com/mkcia to learn more about the CIA, participate in the cultural practices questionnaire, and view the EIS Preparation Notice. CIA questionnaires will be accepted through March 31, 2022. Responses to the questionnaire will help UH identify individuals to be interviewed to further inform the CIA. The draft EIS, with a draft CIA attached, is expected to be released for public comment around midyear 2022.
Kaimipono Consulting Services, LLC and Pacific Consulting Services, Inc. are preparing the CIA.