(Honolulu) – In an effort to protect public safety and provide security and safety for the movement of heavy construction equipment associated with the Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) on Hawai‘i Island’s Mauna Kea, DLNR Chair Suzanne Case has ordered the temporary closure for hunting of hunting units A, K, and G in the Mauna Kea Forest Reserve and Natural Area Reserve for hunting, effective July 15, 2019. This means hunting and hunting related activities in the identified hunting units will not be permitted from July 15, 2019, at 12:01 a.m. through August 12, 2019, at 11:59 p.m.
The Board of Land and Natural Resources delegated closure authority to the BLNR Chair in 2015. The closure can be shortened if circumstances warrant. Anyone who is in the closure area with methods of take such as firearms or bows can be cited or arrested by State law enforcement officers and face fines and/or jail time.
Chair Case commented, “We hope to allow hunting as soon as practicable, but the temporary closure for hunting is necessary to ensure the safety and security of the public and personnel involved in moving equipment for the TMT project up the Mauna Kea Access Road. We understand and appreciate that this closure may be inconvenient and we appreciate everyone’s patience while we focus on safety and security as well as continued stewardship of Mauna Kea.”
The applicable rule is cited in HAR § 13-123-21.1 (Game Mammal Hunting).
The specific hunting area closures are: (map attached)
Unit A, Mauna Kea Forest Reserve and Game Management Area
Unit G, Kaʻohe Game Management Area
Unit K, Mauna Kea Ice Age Natural Area Reserve