Guthertz Calls for More Transparency of ROD’s Bio Diversity Plan

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Guam – Buildup Committee Chair Senator Judi Guthertz is concerned about what she says are the obscure plans for dealing with invasive species in the Record of Decision.

In a release, she cites two programs being developed to deal with the potential problem of invasive species which she says “remain under wraps and outside of discussion by island residents.” 

Guam residents are regularly reminded of the dangers of invasive species by the brown tree snake—believed to have arrived on the island in the late 1940s with shipments of military scrap and supplies—which has over the years destroyed native bird species and damaged utility equipment among its many downsides.

Guthertz says the ROD reveals that a regional Micronesia Biosecurity Plan is being developed by a Navy contractor. The MBP “will include risk assessments for invasive species throughout Micronesia and procedures to avoid, minimize, and mitigate these risks.”

In a letter to Assistant Secretary of the Navy Jackalyne Pfannenstiel, Senator Guthertz said that to her knowledge, the biosecurity plan is not yet final and is being developed with Navy funding by a U.S. mainland firm. She also said that her understanding was that the plan “will not include the physical resources (personnel, equipment, facilities, etc.) required to handle and mitigate bio-security/invasive species issues that will occur during the military buildup.” There’s apparently also no federal funding for carrying out the plan at this point.

In  a  separate  letter  to  Governor  Camacho,  Senator  Guthertz  said  there  apparently  is  also  a biosecurity plan specific to Guam in the works: “I understand that this plan is with your office and  the  next  step  is  for  your  office  to  transmit  it  to  the  Guam  Legislature  for  its  review  and
approval. I hereby officially urge you to complete your review of this plan and transmit it to the Legislature without delay. We need to be ready for the military buildup and this plan is critical for our people’s security.”

RECORD  OF  DECISION’  SHOWS  BIOSECURITY  PLANS  FOR  GUAM  IN  CLOSED  DOOR
DEVELOPMENT; SENATOR GUTHERTZ SAYS, CALLING FOR MORE TRANSPARENCY
 
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
 
The Guam public may have the most to lose if the impending military buildup brings uninvited
new animals, insects, snakes or other biological imports to the island.  
 
But two programs being developed to deal with such a potential problem remain under wraps
and outside of discussion by island residents.  
 
Committee  on  the  Guam  Military  Buildup  and  Homeland  Security  Chair  Senator  Judith  P.
Guthertz said the ROD revealed that a regional Micronesia Biosecurity Plan is being developed
by a Navy contractor. The MBP “will include risk assessments for invasive species throughout
Micronesia and procedures to avoid, minimize, and mitigate these risks.”
In a letter to Assistant Secretary of the Navy Jackalyne Pfannenstiel, Senator Guthertz said that to
her knowledge, the biosecurity plan is not yet final and is being developed with Navy funding by
a U.S. mainland firm. She also said that her understanding was that the plan “will not include the
physical resources (personnel, equipment, facilities, etc.) required to handle and mitigate bio-
security/invasive species issues that will occur during the military buildup.” There’s apparently
also no federal funding for carrying out the plan at this point.
Guam residents are regularly reminded of the dangers of invasive species by the brown tree
snake—believed to have arrived on the island in the late 1940s with shipments of military scrap
and supplies—which has over the years destroyed native bird species and damaged utility
equipment among its many downsides.
In  a  separate  letter  to  Governor  Camacho,  Senator  Guthertz  said  there  apparently  is  also  a
biosecurity plan specific to Guam in the works: “I understand that this plan is with your office
and  the  next  step  is  for  your  office  to  transmit  it  to  the  Guam  Legislature  for  its  review  and
approval. I hereby officially urge you to complete your review of this plan and transmit it to the
Legislature without delay. We need to be ready for the military buildup and this plan is critical
for our people’s security.”