Group plans candlelight vigil to save Ritidian - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Group plans candlelight vigil to save Ritidian

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An activist group is holding a candlelight vigil this weekend to draw attention to its bid to halt a live fire training range at northwest field. The Prutehi Litekyan - Save Ritidian group is still hoping to protect what it calls a sacred, environmentally-sensitive area.  

In a news conference Wednesday, the group also released memos -obtained through freedom of information act requests- which it says document how the military was cited multiple times by the U.S. fish and wildlife service for environmental non-compliance. That's evidence says spokesperson Sabina Perez that the military can't be completely trusted to safeguard the environment. "We're seeing patterns of non-compliance and the fact is unless groups like ourselves seek this information, there's no accountability," she said.

The group is also highly critical of Congresswoman Madeliene Bordallo, who it says has not done enough to push back against the military over the firing range, and Member Dr. Kelly Marsh-Taitano says they are drafting a response letter to her.

She told KUAM News, "Rather than generally addressing the heart of the issues that we're bringing up and we are continuing to bring up, instead in the responses statements are twisted, strawmen arguments are developed, and partial statements that hide the important aspects that we're trying to convey of what we're trying to protect which are the truth are glossed over or covered up."

The group says the Ritidian Litekyan Tailalo' area is an important source for local medicinal plants used by traditional healers.  They believe it's still not too late to seek a pause, but admit there has been no indication from DoD of any sort of eleventh-hour reprieve.

The candlelight vigil is scheduled for 5:30 pm, Sunday January 14th at the Ritidian overlook. 

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