Will DLNR approve Army helicopter training on Mauna Kea?

The staff of the State of Hawai’i Department of Land and Natural Resources is recommending approval of an Army request for a permit to conduct high altitude helicopter training on the sacred mountain Mauna Kea.  The Honolulu Star Advertiser reports:

State Department of Land and Natural Resources staff is recommending approval of a month’s worth of high-altitude helicopter training on the slopes of Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa for Army pilots and crews deploying to Afghanistan in January.

The Army’s request for a “right-of-way” permit for training in October on state conservation land is scheduled to come before the Board of Land and Natural Resources on Friday.

The 9 a.m. meeting will be held at the Kalanimoku building on Punchbowl Street. Acceptance of an environmental assessment, finding of “no significant impact,” and the permit for the Hawaii Island training are being sought by the Army.


The permit request is for October training only. Army officials said a decision will have to be made whether to pursue a longer-term permit for high-altitude training on Hawaii Island to include other services, such as the Hawaii National Guard.

The meeting of the DLNR will be Thursday, September 8, 2011 at 9am at the Kalanimoku BuildingKAHEA and the Mauna Kea protectors have been mobilizing opposition to this plan.  Testify in opposition to the helicopter training on the sacred temple Mauna Kea.

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