Northwestern Hawaiian Islands Management Plan Finalized – Military Exempted

The management plan for the Papahanaumokuakea (Northwestern Hawaiian Islands) National Marine Monument has just been released.   Although establishing the Monument designation was a major win for the movement, the processes and management structures for the Monument are turning out to be a problem that allows huge loopholes and creates obstructions for meaningful public involvement.  One serious problem in the proclamation by George W. Bush that created the Monument is the exemption of the military from all of its protections. Here’s an excerpt from the website FAQ page:

Military Use

25. How are the Co-Trustees working with the Navy to ensure that Navy activities within the Monument cause no harm?

A. Presidential Proclamation 8031 specifically exempts lawful activities and exercises of the Armed Forces, including the U.S. Coast Guard, from its prohibitions. The Co-Trustees have no authority to regulate such activities. The requirement that the Armed Forces avoid to the extent practicable adverse impacts on Monument resources and qualities is to be addressed by the military agency conducting the operation, not the Monument Co-Trustees. The Navy is the primary DOD agency that periodically conducts activities in the Monument and they have expressed their commitment to support the spirit and intent of the Proclamation.

So the Monument turns out to be another beautiful, secluded, playground for the Navy and Missile Defense Agencies to blast their sonar, crash missiles, and fly air-breathing hypersonic aircraft.

Click here to go to the Papahanaumokuakea National Marine Monument, where you can download the full management plan.

Also, visit the KAHEA website for their background information and critique of the plan.

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