The West Fena Lake latte site was partially bulldozed during the Cold War, before federal and local laws protecting historical sites were in place.

That's the response from the Navy to a KUAM News inquiry about an ancient site recently discovered by Guam State Archeologist John Mark Joseph at the Navy's weapons storage base at Fena Lake.

"A collaborative site visit conducted by the State Archaeologist and MCAG Archaeologist to visit boring locations near Lower Kitts Road discovered the latte referenced in the letter in vegetated areas in the surrounding area. Based on preliminary information, one latte set shows disturbance from construction was carried out during the Cold War before the National Historic Preservation Act or other Federal or Guam cultural resources protection law was in place," Naval Facilities Marianas said in a written release.

A June 24 letter from then acting State Historic Preservation Officer Rich Ybanez documented the "partially bulldozed" site. Ybanez further wrote that the West Fena Lake site's eligibility as a National Register of Historic Places was "unquestionable."

"We are in agreement," the Navy's statement reads. "The Navy concurs with the SHPO that research designs and other work plans for intensive archaeological investigations are required and are pleased with the outcome of our close coordination with the SHPO. The Navy looks forward to collaborating with the Guam SHPO to develop preservation options and to respectfully investigate an ancient village in the Fena area in accordance with the 2011 Programmatic Agreement."

The Navy is in the beginning phase of proposed construction for weapons storage facilities at its Fena base, and the public comment period on this construction is open until August 5.

"There is no present construction activity at the Lower Kitts Road vicinity of Naval Base Guam Munitions Site (NBGMS) aka NAVMAG. These areas are distinct from the proposed boring locations specified in PA Memo #1, which are immediately within existing built surfaces and roadways. As a precaution due to known resources in the vicinity, two boreholes will be subject to examination by a Secretary of the
Interior-qualified archaeologist as agreed upon with the SHPO," the response reads.