Prutehi Litekyan: Save Ritidian and Oppose Degradation and Militarization of Native Lands

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We, the Guam-based group Prutehi Litekyan: Save Ritidian, are a direct action group dedicated to the protection of natural and cultural resources in all sites identified for DOD live-fire firing training on Guam. We oppose the establishment of any military firing range and align our efforts with other regional movements working to prevent environmental degradation and destruction on sacred and native lands. Our work promotes the continued pursuit for return of ancestral lands.

We protest the signing of the Integrated Natural Resource Management Plan (INRMP) that would allow the construction of the Live-Fire Training Range Complex (LFTRC) at Andersen Air Force Base.  We vehemently protest the detrimental impacts that the firing range would have on the ancient village of Litekyan (Ritidian), Urunao, and Jinapsan and all of the species, endangered or otherwise,  within the Guam Wildlife Refuge.  We protest the signing of the INRMP for the following reasons:

1.     There is an ongoing Earthjustice lawsuit seeking to set aside the 2010 and 2015 Records of Decision regarding the relocation of the Marines from Okinawa to the Guam because the Department of Defense found no other alternatives for the move and also did not create a single Environmental Impact Statement for various projects it would involve.

2.     Of the options considered, building the LFTRC at the Northwest Field would be the most destructive option to the environment, the natural and cultural resources, and to the communities surrounding the area. 

3.     The 2010 and 2015 Records of Decision underestimate or leave out the impacts of endangered species in the Refuge Overlay of the Guam National Wildlife Refuge. 

4.     Mitigation efforts are not sufficient to protect endangered species.  Avoidance of adverse effects stemming from the construction and operation of live-fire ranges is the only option.

5.     The LFTRC poses a tremendous risk of contaminating Guam’s primary fresh water resource – the Northern Guam Lens Aquifer (NGLA).

6.     The impact on ancestral and historic sites cannot be mitigated because many of the resources at the site still remain in pristine, undisturbed condition and are still being studied.  Furthermore, Litekyan/Ritidian is a sacred site for native people and a place of spiritual connection to their ancestors.

7.     The construction of the LFTRC constitutes an environmental injustice to the indigenous people of Guam, the Chamorro people, and further disempowers native communities through militarization and contamination of native lands.

Please sign our petition to divert the LFTRC and the signing of the INRMP, which would have a devastating impact on the people and land of Guåhan.  

For more information, please email: save.ritidian@gmail.com

 



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