Thursday, December 17, 2009

Military to hikers: Take up indoor hobbies

Military to hikers: Take up indoor hobbies

Friday, 18 December 2009 04:21 by Jude Lizama | Variety News Staff

SINCE bonnie stompers are likely to lose access to jungles and cultural sites on island, the military is suggesting that hikers switch to indoor hobbies.

The Marine Corps Community Service has proposed various quality of life facilities such as hobby shop, indoor physical fitness centers, indoor recreational resources such as bowling, skating rink, youth center, theater and recreational pavilion.

These are among the alternative recreations cited by the military in the draft environmental impact statement.

“By presenting alternate recreational options to the potential users, impacts to the recreational resources on non-DoD lands in north Guam could be lessened,” the study cited.

A significant portion of nonmilitary acreage on the east coast of the island, in addition to the loss of some of the island’s recreational and cultural sites, may be confiscated as a result of the training range complex construction alternatives proposed within the draft environmental impact statement.

According to the impact study, “There are several recreational resources that the public would lose the access to, and the use of the features if the proposed action were implemented: Guam International Raceway, Marbo Cave, Pagat Trail and associated trails near it, cultural gathering activities (suruhana), and off-shore fishing near Marbo Cave.”

Through the possible implementation of Training Complex Alternative A, the U.S. military would look to acquire 921 acres of nonmilitary land located east of both Andersen South and Route 15. This alternative would also require 1.7 miles of Route 15 to be realigned. Alternative B could possible would see the military take 1,129 acres with no realignment to Route 15.

If conducted, both of the training facility options would consist of live fire ranges under the classifications of known distance, unknown distance, pistol, square-bay, and machine gun; in addition to range control, range roads, range towers, and proposed special use airspace.

Additionally, the study cited that “Implementation of [Main Cantonment] Alternative 1, regardless of the Training Complex Alternatives A or B, would cause the cessation of the present activities at all the resources mentioned because the Known Distance Range Complex is proposed in that location. The loss of Guam International Raceway land and use would be an adverse impact. Therefore, [Main Cantonment] Alternative 1 would result in significant impacts to recreational resources.”

“Heightened awareness and education about environmentally sensitive areas,” will contribute toward “minimizing deterioration of resources,” the draft study says. “The general wear and tear of the amenities available and the conditions of the recreational resources would likely be accelerated due to the presence of potential users.”

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