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UH statement on OHA Mauna Kea lawsuit

MEDIA RELEASE

Mauna Kea on December 25, 2016. NASA Earth Observatory images by Jesse Allen, using Landsat data from the U.S. Geological Survey.
Mauna Kea on December 25, 2016. NASA Earth Observatory images by Jesse Allen, using Landsat data from the U.S. Geological Survey.

The University of Hawaiʻi is pleased that the court dismissed one of two claims brought by the Office of Hawaiian Affairs against the State of Hawaiʻi, Board of Land and Natural Resources, Department of Land and Natural Resources and the university. The university believes that the remaining claim is without merit and will continue to fully litigate against this claim.

For two decades now, UH has made great strides in its management of Maunakea since a critical state audit in 1998. The comprehensive follow-up by the state auditor in 2014 observed:

“We found that UH has developed several management plans that provide a comprehensive framework for managing and protecting Mauna Kea while balancing the competing interests of culture, conservation, scientific research and recreation.”

Management of public trust lands is complex, as all parties to this lawsuit including OHA, understand. The University of Hawaiʻi is privileged to be the state’s lead for astronomy on Maunakea and understands that with this privilege comes the responsibility to mālama Maunakea, a wahi pana, storied place.

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