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National Trust and Guam Preservation Trust Score Major Legal Victory on Pagat Village
Historic Preservation Blog from PreservationDirectory.com -
Contributed By: National Trust's Public Policy Department and Center for State and Local Policy

The National Trust and the Guam Preservation Trust scored a major legal victory in November when U.S. Navy publicly announced its intent to consider alternative locations for firing ranges that were originally to be built adjacent to an ancient settlement and important cultural site in Guam, Pågat Village.  In November 2010, The National Trust for Historic Preservation, Guam Preservation Trust and “We are Guåhan” filed a lawsuit against the Navy to protect and preserve Pågat Village.  Dating to 700 A.D., Pågat, one of Guam's most treasured cultural sites, contains remains of prehistoric structural stone foundations, known as lattes, freshwater caves, medicinal plants, as well as stone mortars, pottery and tools of the Chamorro people. One of the island's last remaining and best preserved Chamorro settlements, Pågat is revered by native people who continue to perform thousand year-old traditional cultural practices at the site, and serves as a popular destination for hikers, tourists, and students who are drawn to the area's serpentine beachfront forest and sparkling underwater caves.  

In a press statement on the legal victory, National Trust president Stephanie Meeks noted that “the work of the community to protect the island’s 4,000-year history has been overwhelming.  The Navy made the right decision to re-open the public review process and we would like to thank them for reconsidering the location of these firing ranges.  This decision further acknowledges the importance of protecting what is special and irreplaceable.  We look forward to working with the Navy to identify more appropriate locations for weapons training away from sensitive cultural resources.”

Reprinted with permission from the National Trust's Public Policy Department and Center for State and Local Policy


Posted: December 7, 2011
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