Guam: The Guam Ancestral Land Use Commission (ALUC) denied the US Navy’s request to be allowed to conduct environmental and engineering surveys on 680 acres of Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) land and 395 acres of land at Andy South. The commission noted that the land board granted the Navy access to the properties three years ago with the understanding that the Navy would provide the commission the results of their findings. But the Navy did not abide by the agreement, the commission said.
“A part of their obligation was to report back to us their findings. One, what was their findings and two, to assure the commission that the properties were not disturbed. In both instances, they failed to report what occurred. They never got back to us,” said Eddie Benavente, Executive Director, ALUC.
“We read their findings in the draft environmental impact statement. Even in the report of the study, they somehow distorted the facts. Somehow, this particular agency falls under the Department of Land Management,” the commission head said, adding that there were substantive omissions in the draft impact report.
John Jackson, director of the Joint Guam Program Office (JGPO), was invited to attend the meeting since he had requested that board members entertain his request. However, neither Jackson nor a representative from JGPO attended the meeting.
Private landowner Gloria Nelson said that the board’s denial of the Navy’s request could be compared indirectly to an act of sedition against the federal government and whether the board knows it or not, they’ve thrown down the gauntlet and if the legislature concurs with their decision.
Senator Judi Guthertz said that she was proud of the board’s decision and looks forward to lobbying her colleagues in concurring with the board. “The Joint Guam Program Office is making its move without consultation with the leadership of Guam. The problem is, they are taking us for granted. They are not even considering negotiating in good faith with the government of Guam in land issues. They are assuming they can identify the land they want. They will conduct the survey and they will get their way in the end,” Guthertz said.