Elected leaders respond to petition to save Ritidian

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(Hagatna, Guam)  Over 1000 people have signed Prutehi Litekyan: Save Ritidian’s online petition within the past 48 hours in response to group’s urgent call to the community on August 7th to stop the firing range at Northwest Field near Litekyan. This amounts to almost a doubling of the signatories in just two days.

The surge has resulted in a response by both the Executive and Legislative Branches of the Government of Guam.

After two weeks, Robert Crisostomo, Director of the Military Buildup Office and Special Assistant to the Governor, responded to Prutehi Litekyan’s request for a follow-up meeting with Governor Calvo “we are placing the interests and concerns of Prutehi Litekyan as a high importance item.” “As for a follow up meeting, as requested by the group I will work with the front Office on the most opportune time based on the Governor’s hectic schedule.”

In the 34th Guam Legislature, Vice Speaker Therese Terlaje sent a message to her fellow Senators of the 34th Guam Legislature stating, that although the online petition “is addressed to five people, including Governor Calvo, Congresswoman Bordallo, Speaker Cruz and me, it will require a government-wide concerted effort and especially your assistance.”  In her message to her fellow senators, Vice Speaker quoted the latest Biological Opinion,

the proposed action will create a Surface Danger Zone (SDZ) over approximately68 percent of the GNWR at Ritidian Point during operation of the LFTRC.” “Thelimited access that GNWR staff will have to the refuge property during theestimated 39 weeks per year the LFTRC is active will limit the amount of habitatmanagement”  and “the operation of the LFTRC will have an adverse effect on listed species by preventing the management, research, and monitoring that would have otherwise occurred at GNWR.

Prutehi Litekyan stated that Now more than ever, we need our elected leaders to stand up for the rights of our people and to protect our island and to not allow the military to repeat the toxic legacies of Vieques, Kaho’olawe, Okinawa, and Pohakuloa, where militarized toxification of indigenous sacred sites continues.” The group is urging the Senators of the 34thGuam Legislature to take immediate and concerted action through the following:

–File a Temporary Restraining Order to prevent the irreparable harm to our endangered native flora and fauna found nowhere else in the world, the harm to our aquifer and water resources, and the desecration of our sacred sites at Litekyan, Urunao, Pahon, and Jinapsan.

–Immediately set-up a Legislative site visit to the areas of impact

–Introduce and pass a resolution that urges Governor Calvo to take all necessary steps to halt the construction of the Live-Fire Training Range Complex on Northwest Field at AAFB among other items
Prutehi Litekyan: Save Ritidian, a direct action group dedicated to the protection of natural and cultural resources in all sites identified for DOD live-fire training on Guam, opposes the establishment of any military firing range, stands in solidarity with Guardians of Gani’, PaganWatch, Tinian Women’s Association, and Alternative Zero Coalition by preventing environmental degradation and destruction on sacred and native lands, and promotes the continued pursuit for return of ancestral lands.

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