Marine Corps Activity Guam recently invited Chamorro traditional healers to collect medicinal plants from Naval Computer and Telecommunications Station. The visit is a [superficial and essentially meaningless nai] example of cooperation between the U.S. military and local residents ahead of the military buildup on Guam.
Medicinal plant collectors are welcome to visit Guam's military installations throughout the year, access program coordinator Dave Snyder said in an email. “This program is conducted on land that is managed (or will be managed) by the Marines, Navy and Air Force. Plant collection could take place on Naval Base Guam, Andersen Air Force Base, and to a limited extent on the Naval Computer and Telecommunications Station (NCTS) and the Naval Magazine.”
U.S. citizens who would like to visit these sites must submit their name, date of birth and Social Security number for a brief background check.
They also must attend a 1-hour training in how to identify and avoid unexploded ordnance. The certification is good for one year.
“Additionally, the individuals will be instructed on how to recognize threatened or endangered species and cultural resources, and what to do (or not to do) when you encounter them,” Snyder said.
“When the program is fully operational, we may be able to meet an individual at odd times or hours or weekends to accommodate a specific collecting request,” Snyder said. But most collecting will be scheduled 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, he added.
We encourage residents to take advantage of these opportunities, not only to save plants but also to help preserve Chamorro healing knowledge and practices.
The military buildup will present challenges to our island’s environment and resources. We must do as much as we can now to help our local traditions flourish.
For information, contact Dave Snyder, access program coordinator, at 671-355-2013 orDavid.L.Snyder@fe.navy.mil.