Lieutenant Governor Josh Tenorio got his second COVID-19 vaccination shot on Friday and expressed his support towards the return of excess federal lands to their original landowners
On Thursday, Speaker Therese Terlaje held an oversight hearing with the Guam Ancestral Lands Commission.
Original landowners gave their testimonies about land taken by the federal government, focusing on the status of the promised but unfulfilled return of federal excess lands that was listed since 2017.
At the UOG vaccination Friday, Lt. Gov. Tenorio said that although he has always advocated in favor of compensation and return of land to the original landowners, the process is not that simple.
“When the federal government returns property, what are the conditions?” Tenorio asked.
He went on to explain the complicated process of returning land.
“Sometimes, the return of lands has conditions. In order to get the land transferred back, we have to follow the conditions. For return, if they restrict us for use, we have to comply with that. We have to make sure that we don’t get ourselves into any problems. Many years ago, land was returned up at the airport, in NAS. It was returned to the original landowners and then we find ourselves now where one federal agency is wanting us to understand why we have to buy back land that was transferred for certain reasons,” the lieutenant governor said.
He added: “Each scenario is very different but you would have to really take a look and see the conveyances that were given by the feds. But of course, we’ve always been in favor of ancestral land rights and when lands can’t be returned to people, we’re finding ways to compensate them for those losses.”