Guthertz to U.S. DOE: Don’t Count Your Firing Ranges Before They’re Built

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Guam -Senator Judi Guthertz is warning U.S. DOE not to move forward on plans to reclaim 80 acres of federal land near Pagat arguing that DoD’s plans to build firing ranges in the Route 15 and Pagat area do not justify taking back the nearby federal land.

The land in question was turned over to GovGuam’s control provided that it be used for schools. No schools have been built on the property, and U.S. DOE has expressed its intention of taking it back.

A release states that Senator Guthertz has written to U.S. DOE’s Winona Varnon in which the Senator says she challenges U.S. DOE’s claim that the military’s plans to build firing ranges in the area “justify taking back nearby land where Guam was supposed to, but failed to build schools to date.” 

Senator Guthertz suggests “that Varnon not count her firing ranges before they are built, noting the range proposal is being challenged in U.S. District Court in Hawaii by the National Preservation Trust.”

The Buildup Committee Chair also told Winona that last week she learned from visiting Under Secretary of the Navy Robert Work “that he was unaware” of  U.S. DOE’s  “action regarding this piece of land.”  

And Guthertz wrote that if  the military seeks property in the area through eminent domain this “will undoubtedly face strong opposition by our Delegate to the House of Representatives who is a ranking member of the House Armed Services Committee which must approve any eminent domain action by the Pentagon.”