In a letter released Monday from University of Hawaii President David Lassner to Department of Land and Natural Resources Chair Suzanne Case, the university confirms that the Thirty Meter Telescope project site is the last new area on the mountain where a telescope project will be contemplated or sought.
The letter states in part that it “shall constitute a legally binding commitment and may be regarded as a condition of the University of Hawaii’s current lease(s) and of any lease renewal or extension proposed by the University.”
The commitment fulfills the second point of Governor David Ige’s 10-point “Way Forward” plan that addresses future management and stewardship of Mauna Kea.
UH said it also fulfilled the third point of the plan, officially identifying three telescopes — the Caltech Submillimeter Telescope, UH-Hilo’s Hoku Tea telescope and the UKIRT Observatory — that will be decommissioned and permanently removed before the Thirty Meter Telescope project begins operations.
On Tuesday, Nov. 17, the Hawaii Supreme Court granted an emergency motion to halt construction on the telescope. The respondents, Hawaii Board of Land and Natural Resources, Department of Land and Natural Resources and the University of Hawaii at Hilo, have until Tuesday, Nov. 24 to respond.