Concerns aired anew over military buildup

Noting the cultural and economic significance of Guam’s longtime participation in the festival, Sen. Kelly Marsh-Taitano said it’s important that GovGuam is prepared and has funding set aside to support the Guam delegation’s attendance every four years when the event takes place.

Following the discovery of two more historic Chamorro sites during the ongoing construction of the Live Fire Training Range Complex at Andersen Airforce Base, several members of the community have stepped forward to bring up their concerns to local island leaders.

According to a release from environmental activist group Prutehi Litekyan, 25 community organizations and local residents delivered a letter to Governor Lou Leon Guerrero yesterday requesting a follow-up meeting to discuss their concerns about the impacts of the military buildup.

In addition, the groups asked for not just a halt of the construction around the endangered Fire Tree, but a complete halt on the construction at all sites identified for the firing range complex.

This letter comes in light of a statement issued by Senator Kelly Marsh-Taitano, in which she cited Department of Defense studies which indicated that Northwest Field is the most harmful option for the community compared to the other sites considered for the construction.

“They want to bulldoze this conservation area and this area to create five new ranges. We’re just pointing to the fact that this area was found to not be feasible. They worked and worked to try to figure this out, so we want to see that same working and working to really take into consideration what the community has been expressing for years and years and years,” the senator said.

The senator also brought up Resolution 73-104 from the United Nations, which asserts that the administering power of non-self governing territories has to safeguard cultural resources.

“These natural resources belong to the peoples of those territories and they’re supposed to be protecting and safeguarding those resources that belong to the people – especially when they’re self-determining. Whatever the choice is, at the end of that self-determination, those people have those resources they can do what they see is the best to do with,” the senator said.

PNC reached out to the Department of Defense but has not received a response as of newstime.