UH asks state to extend leases at Mauna Kea

Thirty Meter Telescope
Thirty Meter Telescope

KAILUA-KONA, Hawaii (AP) - The University of Hawaii is asking state officials to extend leases that allow telescopes on Mauna Kea for another 45 years, through 2078.

West Hawaii Today reported Thursday that the state Board of Land and Natural Resources plans to consider the request Friday in Honolulu.

The university is asking to extend leases for more than 11,000 acres.

Chairman John Holzman of the UH Board of Regents says the longer-term leases are necessary to enter into meaningful negotiations with current and future telescope projects. Holzman says is planning to pay management and stewardship costs in part with future subleases.

The Office of Hawaiian Affairs says it wants more environmental reviews before new leases are granted.

University officials say the only new project planned right now is the Thirty Meter Telescope.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.