by Mindy Aguon
Guam - Joint Guam Program Office Director David Bice says the U.S. Marines will ensure access to the historic Pagat Village site that is adjacent to the proposed firing range training area for the Marines. With the recent announcement of Pagat being included on the 11 Most Endangered Historic Sites List, concerns have been raised about preserving the historic village, something Bice contends will happen.
He told KUAM News, "The Pagat area is not physically part of the training ranges, nor is it in the impact area. The Marines are developing plans on how they will protect that historic and cultural site as well as preserve it and enhance it." The official added, "It would be the marines desire to build public access to it, preserve it and protect it and enhance it forever."
Bice added that other Marine bases offer access to historical lands. He adds that the Department of Defense does not intend to condemn land, but instead negotiate a settlement with land owners. Guam Preservation Trust Chief Program Officer Joe Quinata meanwhile says they are unaware of the Marines' plans to preserve and enhance Pagat.
Quinata added that it would be nice if DoD officials communicated their plans to the local government.