“DOCARE officers disassembed, loaded and took as evidence, a large tent that protesters had erected at the 9,000 foot elevation level, across the road from the Mauna Kea Visitors Center,” a DLNR news release said Monday.
“In an understanding reached last week, protesters had agreed to vacate the tent,” the release said. “A written warning notice was posted to it last Wednesday. Officers confiscated it after its rightful owner failed to claim it and take it down. A hale adjacent to the tent was not removed.”
The operation was conducted under a 120-day emergency rule that the Board of Land and Natural Resources approved in June. It involved 19 officers from DOCARE, support from the Hawaii Police Department and a ranger from the Office of Mauna Kea Management.
Fifteen people have been arrested since the emergency rule took effect, which the Office of Hawaiian Affairs has condemned.
Some Native Hawaiians consider Mauna Kea to be sacred and are protesting the construction of a another telescope on top of the mountain. The telescope is expected to be completed by 2024.