After more than 8 hours of public testimony in Honolulu yesterday, the Hawaii State Board of Land and Natural Resources voted 5-2 Friday night to approve the following emergency rule:
Prohibited activities. (a) The area referred to in this rule as the “restricted area” is defined as any lands in the public hunting area that includes the Mauna Kea Observatory Access Road and one mile on either side of the Mauna Kea Observatory Access road.
(b) As used in this rule, the term “transiting” means operating, or being a passenger in, a motor vehicle travelling at a reasonable and prudent speed and having regard to the actual and potential hazards and conditions then existing.
(c) No person shall at any time possess or control in the restricted area any of the following items: sleeping bag, tent, camping stove, or propane burner.
(d) No person shall enter or remain in the restricted area during the hours of 10:00 p.m. to 4:00 a.m., unless the person is transiting through the restricted area on the Mauna Kea Observatory Access Road or is lawfully within or entering or exiting an existing observatory or a facility operated by the University of Hawaii.
The rule is in response to protests and non-stop gatherings at the summit of Mauna Kea by people attempting to halt construction of the Thirty Meter Telescope.
The 120-day emergency rule would restrict access to anyone not traveling in a vehicle on Mauna Kea Access Road from 10 p.m. to 4 a.m. and prohibit camping gear, including blankets and tarpaulins, within a mile of the road at any time. The rule ostensibly would allow construction to resume on the Thirty Meter Telescope, the subject of months of protests.