FOR IMMEDIATE NEWS RELEASE (September 6, 2017 – Hagåtña) – Vice Speaker Therese M. Terlaje (D-Yoña), Chairperson for the Committee on Culture and Justice, submitted a letter to Governor Eddie Baza Calvo yesterday, urging him to consider the irreversible impacts to historic sites, the environment, and ancestral lands with the clearing of limestone forests in Finegayan and Northwest Field for construction of the cantonment and Live-Fire Training Range Complex. Vice Speaker wrote with great concern about the preservation of primary limestone forest, ancient villages, cultural resources, and the continuing struggles for original landowners. In her letter, Vice Speaker Terlaje asked the Governor to consider the following:
– That promises in the Programmatic Agreement have not been kept by the military
– That the discovery of additional historic properties at Northwest Field may require reconsideration
– That the CNMI pending lawsuit may directly impact these firing ranges
– That the planned destruction of 187 acres of limestone forest at Northwest Field and the clearing of 683 acres of limestone forest in Finegayan are irreversible
– That Guam has a longstanding policy to defend Ritidian from federal control
– That the relocation will not begin until 2020
“Certainly the destruction of our limestone forest and wildlife refuge can be put on hold temporarily, while the leaders of Guam work cohesively with government agency leaders and the people of Guam to ensure the preservation of our ancient villages and pristine resource,” Vice Speaker Terlaje wrote.
Vice Speaker Terlaje also humbly requested that these issues regarding Ritidian be addressed in the Governor’s discussions in Washington D.C., together with the economic impacts of the denial of H-2B visas and the payment of War Claims out of Section 30 funds owed to Guam. Vice Speaker Terlaje further stated, “Settlement should include justice for the original landowners, preservation of historic sites, and protection of our limestone forests.”
The letter, which was also copied to Congresswoman Madeleine Bordallo, included maps of the proposed Surface Danger Zone at Ritidian/Litekyan and potential impacts, a copy of a complaint filed by the Tinian Women’s Association against the U.S. Navy, and the public notice for the September 7, 2017 Informational Briefing with Original Landowners at the Guam Congressional Building’s Public Hearing Room.
For more information, please refer to the attached letter from Vice Speaker Terlaje to Governor Calvo, along with the included attachments.
For more information, please call the Office of Vice Speaker Therese M. Terlaje at (671) 472-3586.
Read Vice Speaker Terlaje’s Letter to the Governor here:
Ltr_Gov_Urgent Issues LFTRC_F
Review the CNMI Complaint here:
Review the Public Notice here:
Public Notice Sept. 7th. 2017 Info Briefing with Original Landowners