After listening to eight hours of emotional testimony, the state Board of Land and Natural Resources voted Friday night to approve emergency rules to restrict access to the summit of Mauna Kea in an attempt to restore order and allow the construction of the Thirty Meter Telescope to proceed.
Click here to check out the report of our media partner, KITV.
The restrictions were approved in a 5-2 vote.
“We need the tools to keep order on the mountain,” said board member Chris Yuen.
But opponents of the $1.4 billion telescope project vowed to disobey the new rules.
“There can be no question, there will be mass coordinated civil disobedience on Mauna Kea to break these rules,” said Andre Perez.
The construction has been on hold since protestors placed boulders in the road last month to block vehicles from reaching the site.
On Thursday, the University of Hawaii said that “safety, trespassing and interference with official function; resource management: threats to natural, histoical and cultural resources and social impacts: harassing/hostile/intimidating comments or gestures” caused it to close the access road on June 24.
The new restrictions, which will be in effect for 120 days, include the following:
(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 traveling 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.