Chief of the National Wildlife System, Jim Kurth, Coming to Guam to Testify at Draft SEIS Hearing on May 17th

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Guam – A hearing on the Draft SEIS for the military buildup will be held here on Guam, on May 17th at Okkodu High School.

The Chief of the National Wildlife System, Jim Kurth, will be coming to Guam to attend the May hearing.

On Tuesday in Washington Kurth testified against Guam Congresswoman Madeleine Bordallo’s bill, H.R. 4402, which authorizes a “Surface Danger Zone” [SDZ] over the Ritidian Wildlife Refuge. The SDZ is necessary for the firing range complex that is proposed for Northwest Field, above the refugee.

The Fish and Wildlife Chief told the House Subcommittee on Insular Affairs that a “Surface Danger Zone” over the refugee would compromise the mission of the Refuge which is to protect endangered species, as well as preserve the oldest surviving ancient Chamorro settlement.

READ Kurth’s testimony HERE

Kurth also told the Subcommittee that the SDZ would result in the periodic closure of  the island’s best public beach, negatively impacting the 92-thousand Guam residents and visitors who use the Refuge as a recreational destination each year.

Navy Deputy Assistant Secretary for Installations, Joe Ludovici, told the Subcommittee that no rounds would be fired into the designated SDZ at Ritidian.

READ Ludovici’s testimony HERE

He also said the Navy initially sought a temporary SDZ, but the Special Permit they asked for was denied by the Fish and Wildlife Service which said it was not an appropriate use of the Refuge.

However, even if they can identify a solution to over come the objections from Fish and Wildlife, he said there would still be some legal obstacles for the Marine Corps.