21 Oct 2013

New Guam firing range plan irks environmentalists

4:45 pm on 21 October 2013

A spokesperson for a group opposed to the United States military build-up on Guam says wherever the navy builds its new firing range will attract criticism.

The comment follows confirmation from a senior Guam official, Mark Calvo, that the defence department has moved away from plans for a new small arms range near an historic village, a proposal that prompted staunch local opposition.

Mr Calvo, who directs the military build-up office, says the new preferred location is within the confines of the existing airforce base.

We Are Guahan's Leevin Camacho says the navy itself has not confirmed that option but if it does, that site encompasses a major recovery habitat for several bird species on the verge of extinction.

"That was supposed to be the area that they were re-introduced into. So a lot of environmentalists are very upset about that alternative being used because there aren't lots of areas that you can reintroduce those species to."

Leevin Camacho says the area concerned is also being claimed by a number of owners.