Marine Monument Battle Brewing

February 3, 2010


In July 2009 Congressman Gregorio (Kilili) Sablan introduced H.R. 3511, which authorizes the Secretary of the Interior to build a multipurpose visitor center in the CNMI "for interpretation and public education and enjoyment" of the Marine Monument .

In January 2010 Congresswoman Madeleine Bordallo of Guam introduced H.R. 4493, the "Bonitan Tåsi Bill", which provides for a monument visitor and research services on Guam. Bordallo’s bill also gives the Government of Guam a role in the management of the Monument.

I wonder if she informed Congressman Sablan of her intentions.

Environmentalist Angelo Villagomez who worked tirelessly with other dedicated CNMI residents to see that the marine monument became a reality has this to say concerning Bordallo's bold move (from Friends of the Monument blog):
I have also been tracking the international newspapers as they commemorate the 50th anniversary of the only manned expedition to the bottom of the Marianas Trench. I was pleased to see Representative Greg Sablan’s plans for commemorating this feat in Washington, DC and Saipan, but was extremely disappointed to see news of Representative Madeleine Bordallo’s plan to change the Marianas Trench Marine National Monument’s management framework to include the Government of Guam, including benefits for the University of Guam and other institutions on Guam.

While I have no problem with Guam asking the federal government to help them manage their natural resources, I see this as a ploy to have all benefits of the marine monument be received by Guam, to the detriment of the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.

Bordallo’s Bonitan Tasi bill fails to recognize that Guam’s waters are not included in the monument. The only marine environment protected by the monument lies hundreds of miles to the north of Guam in the Marianas and the portion of the monument that extends into the federal submerged lands around Guam does not protect a single drop of water. The monument does not affect Guam’s natural resources and Guam should have no say in how the monument in the Marianas is managed, nor should educational and management dollars be transferred away from the Marianas to Guam.

I am further disappointed that Bordallo would not have the Marianas co-sponsor this bill, seeing as our people are the ones to be negatively affected by it should it pass.

She managed to find other co-sponsors, so why not us? The bill is co-sponsored by Representative Sam Farr of California, Representative Lois Capps of California, Representative Mike Honda of California, Representative Neil Abercrombie of Hawaii, Representative Eni Faleomavaega of American Samoa and Representative Donna Christensen of the U.S. Virgin Islands.

So much for having a seat at the table.

I hope that Representative Sablan can educate the rest of the Congress on the history of the monument and how it came to be. This monument is something that the people of the Commonwealth asked President George W. Bush to create. We had hopes for educational opportunities, increased scientific research, and benefits to our local tourism economy. It would be a travesty to transfer all those benefits from the people of the Marianas to the people of Guam without even giving us the courtesy of asking first.
I hope that Angelo and the others who worked so hard for the monument will move quickly to have their voices heard in this debate.

Originally, Guam lawmakers opposed the monument.

February 1, 2010 Congressman Sablan announced that he had sent a formal request for a legislative hearing on the two bills dealing with the Marianas Trench Marine National Monument to the Chair of the Subcommittee on Insular Affairs, Oceans, and Wildlife, Madeleine Z. Bordallo. From a press release issued by his office:
“I think that it is very important to have a hearing on these two bills,” said Kilili. “And I look forward to working with Chairwoman Bordallo.

“The Subcommittee especially needs to hear witnesses from the Northern Marianas who negotiated the terms and conditions of the Monument with the White House. They can testify what promises or understandings were given concerning facilities for visitors and concerning the management of fisheries and other resources within the Monument.

“We have to be sure that those promises are fulfilled and that Congress does nothing out of line with the agreements the White House made to the people of the Northern Marianas.”
President George W. Bush created the Marianas Trench Marine National Monument by Presidential Proclamation on January 6, 2009.

The 95,216 square mile Monument is made up of three units. Two of these, the Volcanic and Trench Units, do not include any waters, but only submerged lands – volcanic hot spots on the ocean floor and the Marianas Trench itself.

The third, the Islands Unit, includes both submerged lands and the ocean waters above them. The Islands Unit also completely surrounds three islands – Farallon de Pajaros, Maug, and Asuncion – which belong to the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.

The Presidential Proclamation prohibits commercial fishing within the Islands Unit, but does allow traditional indigenous fishing and recognizes the role of the CNMI government in determining what is traditional indigenous fishing.

Management plans for the Monument are to be developed and implemented by U.S. departments of the Interior and Commerce in cooperation with the CNMI government. The plans will provide for recreational fishing and traditional access by indigenous persons within the Monument, and for tourism programs and other economic activities in the Northern Mariana Islands.

The Proclamation also establishes a five-person Advisory Council with three officials of the Commonwealth Government and two federal officials to provide on-going advice and recommendations concerning the Monument.
Congressman Sablan's bill has 37 co-sponsors.

15 comments:

Anonymous said...
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Captain said...

killili is a fence rider. he has no interest in anything but to get reelected. He won't take a stand on this "clown" we have sitting in the Gov. seat.
This Guam's Bordello is a "user" and seems to go to no ends but to do whatever it takes to try and make herself "look" good in the people's eyes.
As many know, Guam was against this "monument. (along with the NMI legislature and other elected and also the many people that were complaining that they could not be able to fish in these areas (including Guam fishermen)

The complainers did not even know the distance to where the location is.
Most cannot even navigate outside of the reef and the ones that can do not have the capability with there vessel to make it to the monument areas.
The ones (US)that may have the capability to go and come back, only a few, have the capacity to hold enough of their catch to make it a profitable trip. (if it was left open to commercial fishing)

The feds promised all of the "rest" of the perks, if this "Monument" became a realization.
Now are we going to let Guam "steal" everything away from us because this incompetent "clown" that occupies a seat as Gov. here is playing some kind of games with the Guam Rep.and the rest of the US Legislature do not know that Guam and the CNMI are different "entities"
Look at who are involved in the US as co-sponsers.
All from California.That says a lot.
These people do not even know anything about their States area.

I hope Angelo and the others get this thing straightened out as there will be no one in the CNMI that will help.
All will be for naught.

Anonymous said...

well said!

Wendy said...

Anonymous 9:33

I think it's extremely disrespectful to call Mrs. Bordallo rude names. Isn't haole a racist statement when used in this way?

Captain. I think it is interesting that some of the people who co-sponsored Bordallo's bill also co-sponsored Kilili's bill. Check out the link at the bottom of the post.

Anonymous said...

nice shark photo. is that symbolic of Bordallo? i don't trust the lady. instead of going with reps. Rahall, Christensen and Sablan to meet the workers she hung with Fitial.

Wendy said...

Anonymous 9:33

Sorry, I looked at your comment again. Have to remove the bottom part for being against the comment policy (ND noticed too)

Here is the comment minus the offending segment:

Madeleine screwed us out of every economic benefit in PL 110-229 that might have given the CNMI a little tourism boost. She succeeded in getting the improved immigration status yanked out of the bill, too, to satisfy the racists in the Guam Senate. Now she wants to take the Marine Monument benefits.

What the hell is Kilili doing to stop her? He should take to the floor of the House and denounce this greedy, ______ _______. Time for her to retire back to Virginia.

February 3, 2010 9:33 PM

Anonymous said...

Bordallo is self-serving! How dare her do this? STOP HER KILILI!

Anonymous said...

Angelo can you go to Washington and lobby for the CNMI?

Anonymous said...

the whole Pew monument BS was a scam from day 1. The feds and outgoing Bush screwed the CNMI out of their waters and clowns like villagomez make a lot of $$ lying to the public. I hope guam gets it.

by the way pewies, wheres the 333 million you clowns promised....HA

Anonymous said...

Messagee-gate Governor that was a friend of Abramoff + Obama visiting Guam + Guam groups questioning the military build-up + Madeline = Guam will get the deal

Anonymous said...

Good shot of a great white shark. Lots of them in the CNMI.

captain said...

Wendy, 5:oo am Does that make it correct that the same people underwrote the same for the same people?
Try to understand what I am saying. I might not be expressing my comments well compared to the proper vocabulary.( I am not an English teacher, have bad eyesight and bad arthritis in my hands and other parts of my body so pls,
try to read this between the lines.
And to the other about a "Haole" you are correct, IT CAN BE USED IN A DEROGATORY WAY.
But without reading the comment it may not have been used in a bad way. (but it is your call)

Haole is an Hawaiian slang word, it means many things, "a white foreigner", a white outsider, a white person,an outsider, non islander of fair skinned complexion.
A black person,(not from Hawaii)that is black skinned is a "papolo"
Generally it is not a bad name.

In the Philippines anybody from outside is called a "foreigner", an American (or white man that is not of known origin)is known as a "Kano" (Americano)
British (Brit, Limie,and other)
Australian (Aussie), New Zealand (Kiwi, the native fruit)
The list goes on and on for all kinds of nationalities.
Not much unlike in the US mainland, and there are more worse names attributed to many.(as you are aware of.
Take care.

The Saipan Blogger said...

Haole has a negative connotation.

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

I dislike Oreo cookie, white on the inside and black on the outside. I hear this in the CNMI quite frequently.