HILO — Hunting in certain areas on Maunakea will be prohibited until mid-August in order to ensure security during the construction of the Thirty Meter Telescope.
Effective at 12:01 a.m. on Monday, hunting and hunting-related activities will not be permitted at three hunting units on Maunakea. That prohibition will last until Aug. 12.
The three units include Unit A, the Maunakea Forest Reserve and Game Management Area; Unit G, the Kaohe Game Management Area; and Unit K, the Maunakea Ice Age Natural Area Reserve. Altogether, the three units comprise an area around the summit approximately 12 miles in diameter.
The Department of Land and Natural Resources warns that anyone found within the closed units with firearms or bows can be cited and arrested by state law enforcement officers and will face fines or jail time.
“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 Maunakea Access Road,” said Suzanne Case, chair of the Board of Land and Natural Resources, in a statement. “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 Maunakea.”
The hunting prohibition may be shortened if circumstances permit, according to the DLNR.