Suit will seek to stop the relocation of 5,000 Marines to Guam | Guam News

The Center for Biological Diversity, Blue Ocean Law, and Prutehi Litekyan:Save Ritidian informed the U.S. Navy and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on Friday that they intend to take legal action to halt ongoing construction. a machine gun range and the relocation of 5,000 US Marines. in Guam.

These activities jeopardize the survival of 15 endangered species, including the Guam Micronesian kingfisher and the Mariana eight-spotted butterfly, the potential plaintiffs said in a news release.

“Military expansion is destroying Guam’s valuable natural and cultural heritage, and enough is enough,” Maxx Phillips, Hawaii director and center attorney, said in the press release. “To add insult to injury, the Navy is failing in its duty to mitigate this evil and ensure the survival of Guam’s endangered plants and animals. Instead of barely doing the bare minimum, the Navy needs to take responsibility and fix the problems it has largely caused.

The Marines’ relocation to Guam resulted in the destruction of more than 1,200 acres of the last and best remaining limestone forests, the potential plaintiffs said in the statement.

These forests, known as the Guam National Wildlife Refuge, were set aside to mitigate habitat loss and disturbance by the Air Force, according to the news release.

They provide the last suitable habitat for species such as the Guam Micronesian kingfisher, or sihek, which is extinct in the wild and struggles in captivity. Mariana crow (åga), Guam rail (ko’ko’), Mariana fruit bat (fanihi), only remaining adult tree of håyun lågu in Guam, Mariana eight-spotted butterfly (abbabang ), three species of tree snails and six of the additional native plants also call refuge.

“This is one of those rare occasions when the law can be powerful, can be called upon to serve the interests of the most vulnerable,” Julian Aguon of Blue Ocean Law said in the press release. “It’s not just biodiversity that we’re protecting, it’s also beauty. Beauty is our birthright and we have a duty to protect it.

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