Mauna Kea telescopesProtests of the planned “Thirty Meter Telescope” on the Mauna Kea mountain summit gained national attention last year. Hawaiians sought to prevent the telescope’s construction because the location is on land that some native Hawaiians consider sacred. For six months, peaceful demonstrators blocked access to the road leading to the Mauna Kea summit to prevent construction crews from beginning work.

The Maunakea Management Board plans to move forward with the Thirty Meter Telescope project. However, they have promised to decommission five smaller telescopes already in place on Mauna Kea in exchange. The Caltech Submillimeter Observatory is the first, following a biological assessment of potential impacts to local plant life. It is on track for decommissioning by 2021.

A full site restoration will take place after each observatory is decommissioned, restoring the area’s original topography.

You can read the full story at the Hawai’i Public Radio website here: