One of the most remote places in the world is the peak of Mauna Kea.
It's a perfect place to watch the stars because of its flat shape, gentle winds, and low humidity.
The director of the University of Hawaii's Institute for Astronomy said that Mauna Kea is the number one place in the world to locate telescopes.
Since the 1960s the land on the mountain has been administered by the university. The new stewardship authority will be composed of scientists, university officials and people in the local community.
The Llkea Foundation aims to preserve the cultural practices and traditions of native Hawaiians and the law is an important step towards that goal.
She believes that the summit area of Mauna Kea is where the Earth Mother and Wkea meet. All life starts at that point. The first born out of that union is the mountain.
The University of Hawaii leased more than 11,000 acres of state owned land on the mountain. The university was given the right to use the land for scientific purposes and to sub lease the land on the mountain to those who wanted to build observatory on its peak. Since then, they have had control over the land.
Two of the 13 observatories on the mountain will be decommission in order to reduce the astronomer's footprint on the mountain.
There is a bigger telescope under way. Upon completion, the Thirty-Meter Telescope would be one of the largest telescopes on the planet.
The new project was granted a sublease on Mauna Kea. The new observatory would be able to provide sharper images than the Hubble Space Telescope, according to its website.
There was a lot of opposition to it arriving.
Activists, including native Hawaiians, protested the TMT multiple times over the course of two years, saying it could ruin the land on the summit.
Development on the project has slowed down due to the protests.
Wong-Wilson said native Hawaiians had been trying for decades to give their input on how the mountain should be managed.
Wong-Wilson said that they wanted to consider the impact of the development. The decisions didn't go our way
The University of Hawaii has come under fire for its management of the mountain. Hawaii House Speaker Scott Saiki made his position clear in an address to the chamber.
Saiki said that the University's work has been shrouded by its inability to appropriately manage cultural practices. The University of Hawaii needs to stop its work to extend the master lease because of this.
University officials apologized for previous criticisms and acknowledged their commitment to protect the mountain.
The result of those negotiations was a new bill that proposed to create a new group to manage the land. Two seats for native Hawaiians would be included in the 11-member panel.
Wong-Wilson said that native Hawaiians, cultural practitioners, and the community have an opportunity to sit at the decision-making table and help to govern this very important place.
The mountain will be administered by the authority and the University of Hawaii together. The new body will take over in the year 2000.
New land leases on the mountain will be one of the first things on its plate. All telescopes at the University of Hawaii must stop operating by 2033.
The next few years will be crucial for astronomy in Hawaii according to John O'Meara.
Once it has full control over the mountain, the group will have to negotiate new leases for the mountain's new and existing observatories.
The creation of the new authority was thought to be a step in the right direction.
"I'm confident that astronomy can thrive in Mauna Kea and in Hawaii before 2033 and after, because we're coming to a place of mutual stewardship," O'Meara said.
How the authority will act depends on who gets appointed to serve as its members, which will be done when the legislature returns next year.