Haleakala Long-Range Development Plan Finalized
The Institute for Astronomy finalized the Haleakala High Altitude
Observatory Site Long Range Development Plan in January after a
long process that included comprehensive environmental, cultural/historic,
and conceptual planning studies, surveys, and inventories, as well as
input from members of the Maui community, including Native Hawaiians
and environmentalists. The plan offers a physical plan and management
structure that seeks to balance Haleakala's astronomical observatories
and their associated scientific and economic benefits with the need to
protect the cultural and environmental resources on the 18-acre science
The plan specifies the steps that must be taken to protect the natural
and cultural resources within and near Haleakala Observatories (HO), especially
during construction in the area. All those working on a construction project
must receive environmental training from UH or the Air Force before beginning
work, so they will learn what measures must be taken to avoid introducing
destructive nonnative species, how to protect the endangered `ua`u (dark-rumped
petrel), which nests in the area from February to October, and other important
To protect cultural resources, any construction requiring a permit from
the Department of Land and Natural Resources requires the consultation
and monitoring of a cultural specialist, who will be engaged at the earliest
stages of the planning process, monitor the construction process, and consult
with and advise the onsite project manager with regard to any cultural
or spiritual correction. All construction crewmembers and all permanent
employees working at HO must attend UH-approved "sense of place" training
prior to working there, and a cultural specialist will also conduct an
inspection of HO twice a year.
KC Environmental, Inc. of Makawao, Maui prepared the plan for the IfA.
The survey work for the plan was coordinated with the appropriate state
agencies where required, and although much prior work was already available
as reference resources, all the qualified experts involved conducted their
own field and laboratory work at the HO site.
To provide those working at HO with sense of place training, the U.S.
Air Force and the IfA commissioned an original film by Maui filmmaker Jay
April, Haleakala: A Sense of Place. The film premiered on February 20 at
McCoy Studio Theater of the Maui Arts and Cultural Center.