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Native Hawaiian Legal Corporation
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Kilakila O Haleakalā
(Majestic is Haleakalā

From Civil Beat
"Hawaii's Board of Land and Natural Resources erred in approving a key permit for a controversial 14-story telescope currently under construction at the summit of Haleakala, the Hawaii Supreme Court ruled Friday.

The decision marks a major victory for Kilakila O Halealaka, a Native Hawaiian group on Maui that has been fighting for several years against the University of Hawaii Institute of Astronomy's telescope.

Kilakila O Haleakala had requested a contested case hearing before the land board on the telescope's conservation use permit. Instead, the board went ahead and approved the permit in December 2010 under then Chair Laura Thielen, effectively denying the group's hearing request.

Kilakila O Halealaka, represented by the Native Hawaiian Legal Corporation, sued the state, arguing that the permit should have never been issued because the land board was required to hold a hearing and allow the group to present their arguments against the project.

Two lower courts previously ruled that they didn't have jurisdiction in the case, allowing the permit to stand. But the Supreme Court disagreed, ruling that the courts did have jurisdiction in the matter and that there should have been a hearing before the board voted on the permit. NSF has approved funding of the project and the Final EIS has been issued. We are contesting their conservation permit with BLNR and public testimony will be accepted then. "

See decision here.

Cultural Genocide on Haleakala, Maui by National Science Foundation & UH Institute for Astronomy.

Please take time out to review this video on the destructive effects of the proposed Advanced Technology Solar Telescope on the spiritual practices of Native Hawaiians living in Maui. Please stop this cultural genocide.

This video will be distributed to all parties involved in this cultural genocide to make them see how unjust this desecration is to the Spiritual Practitioners of Maui. In order to help in this fight please

What is Proposed?
The top of the telescope will be approximately 100' higher than the summit. It's base will be dug out 5 stories deep.

Why Oppose the Telescope?
Haleakalā National Park Superintendent Marilyn Parris said the park opposes a proposed solar telescope on the sensitive Haleakalā summit and called a draft environmental impact statement on the project inadequate. Read more

"Somehow, I feel like the fox is in the chicken coop, asking the chickens when they want to be eaten; because I would rather have this project built in Colorado, Montana, New Mexico, or California, rather than here on Maui.

That's one of the problems that we have here on Maui being the best place for everything. So right now we find our local people in a pickle, not being able to even get housing, leave alone the lands. And so we have homeless Hawaiians here, and we have the federal government supporting a project such as this. And as worthy as it may be, there's a complete disregard from the federal government for supporting the needs of the Hawaiian people and including the rest of the community over here on Maui.

The impact on traffic is going to continue, the impact of construction is going to continue, the degradation of our cultural sites will continue. I just returned from a hearing where more cultural sites are being destroyed under the name of private ownership and private ownership rights.

Now we have ceded lands, and I believe they are 5F lands; is that correct? In other words, another word for ceded lands is stolen lands, and it belonged to the Hawaiian people. And yet, there's a continuous degradation in both the Hawaiian students, our Hawaiian culture, our Hawaiian elders, and the basic community fabric of our Hawaiianness."
Ed Lindsey

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Native Hawaiian Legal Corporation
1164 Bishop St Honolulu, HI 96813

Download the Petition
Return it to:

Clare Apana 260 Halenani Dr. Wailuku, HI 96793

Or sign online

Download Poster and put up copies everywhere

Fill out the National Park Survey


For information on the Supplemental Draft Environmental Impact Statement:

Samples of Testimony Submitted:

National Park Service -- The introduction is a must read!

On behalf of Kilakila O Haleakala

Dick Mayer

Sierra Club

Kiope Raymond Maui News Viewpoint

UH Environmental Center Review 

Kahea SEIS Comments

Kahea DEIS Comments


Panelists Discuss the Clash of Cultures and Land Ownership on Hawaii's Sacred Peaks

'The law of Aloha is in the land.' Kealoha Pisciotta

Respect for Kanaka Maoli Spiritual Practices

Panelists explained that from a kanaka maoli perspective, the summit of Haleakala is considered 'wao akua,'or the realm of the gods. The very lands of Haleakala are seen by many as the kinolau (physical manifestation) of the sacred goddess Pele, a place that should be regarded as a temple.

Kiope Raymond and Kealoha Pisciotta
Sierra Club Maui, MCC Hawaiian Studies Program, and Kilakila o Haleakala sponsored a May 17th panel discussion on a new 14 story tall telescope proposed for the summit of Haleakala. Pictured above,are panelists Kiope Raymond, Hawaiian Studies Department head at MCCand President of Kilakila o Haleakala and Kealoha Pisciotta, president of Mauna Kea Anaina Hou, a group on Hawaii Island that led an alliance (including Sierra Club) who successfully challenged the state for failing to follow its own management plan and deal with the impacts of expanding the telescope complex on the summit Mauna Kea. 

Kanaka maoli come to such places to worship and feel close to their ancestors.

Psciotta, who had worked at a telescope facility on Mauna Kea for many years, expressed respect for the scientists who work on the mountain, but not for the treatment of the land. She referred to the many pollutants (such as mercury and other waste products ) that came with the use and maintenance of the telescope facilities and the fact that their impacts on groundwater and native flora and fauna were not adequately considered by the state.

KilaKila board members are concerned that the summit of Haleakala has no comprehensive management plan. No one seems to be discussing the huge amount of energy the proposed 14-storyhigh 'solar' telescope would be consuming on Maui to maintain ideal temperatures in its huge footprint. All the panelists referred to the need to leave the landforms unaltered on the mountain peaks because they have connections to other landforms which are all part of the kanaka maoli spiritual tradition.

It is with great sadness that we morn the passing of
Ed Lindsey who worked hard to preserve Haleakalā

Ed Lindsey & Debbie Ward
Panelists Ed Lindsey,president of Maui Cultural Lands and Debbie Ward, who worked closely on the Mauna Kea telescope challenge campaign as a representative of the Sierra Club's Moku Loa (Big Island) group.  Not pictured are the fifth panelist, Kaleikoa Kaeo, Hawaiian studies professor at MCC and panel moderator Rich Lucas. Representatives of the UH Institute of Astronomy and others supporting the telescope project were invited to be panelists, but they declined to participate at this time.

Land Ownership:

The telescopes of Haleakala's 'Science City'(more properly described as the Ahupua'a of Papa'anui in the district,or moku of Honua'ula) sit on ceded land. These are lands that belong to the Hawaiian Kingdom and were 'ceded' to the U.S. government with the 1898 annexation. Most of the 1.8 million acres of' ceded' lands became 'state lands' when upon Hawaii statehood in 1959. A recent Hawaii Supreme Court ruling decreed that the state had no authority to enter into agreements about the ceded lands with other parties until the land claims of kanaka maoli were settled. The state is appealing this decision.

A New Vision:

Panelists, all of whom opposed the construction of further buildings on Hawaiian mountain peaks, were united in one vision. The state of Hawaii needed to have a shift in perspective regarding the island's land. Ceded lands need to be managed by kanaka maoli. Mountain peaks like Haleakala and Mauna Kea need to be respected as part of the spiritual heritage of all of Hawaii's people, not as a real estate commodity to be leased by state agencies for a dollar a year to military and research facilities whose activities can impact landforms native creatures and the groundwater sources.

'Aloha is the guiding principle of our life here in Hawaii,' explained Pisciotta 'and the law of Aloha is in the land.' 

LATEST UPDATE - Supplemental Cultural Impact Assessment - May, 2007