Groups seek meeting with governor to discuss artifacts, SHPO

There are sites that could still contain artifacts.

Community stakeholders have called for a meeting with Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero and the Acting State Historic Preservation Officer to discuss the additional artifacts found during the clearing of the Live Fire Training Range Complex on Andersen Air Force Base.

In response to the immediate termination of long-time State Historic Preservation Officer Linda Aguon and the myriad of unfinished business left in her wake, Senator Therese Terlaje said: “I am deeply troubled by this recent move by the administration to dismiss the SHPO in the midst of one of the largest construction projects in our recent history. To put someone inexperienced in an acting capacity leaves Guam vulnerable to further bulldozing of historic sites and leaves Guam voiceless during a critical period of potential harm to our culture and our environment. Silencing and intimidation are the opposite of standing up for the people of Guam.”

The senator wrote a letter to the governor relative to whether or not the governor has approved the extended pause on clearing and construction at the LFTRC at Northwest Field — a request made by Terlaje last week Wednesday and made again by now former SHPO Aguon this past Monday.

With a response from the governor pending, about 20 community organizations, businesses and stakeholders have joined the fray to get proper analysis done on the four new inadvertent discoveries of artifacts that have been added to the 14 known properties that have already been removed by the military.

In the senator’s letter, she cited the MCAG report which noted three areas as “probable sites or extensions of one larger site, pending confirmation by additional investigations.”

She added that the properties found, contained potential earth ovens, Latte Period ceramic scatters, various lithics and shell artifacts, all of which were densely situated encompassing a large portion of the proposed Known Distance Rifle Range and the adjacent roadway.

Again citing the MCAG report, the senator said “stump pulling activities continue to expose archaeological materials as they move north.”