CAMP FOSTER, Okinawa — A lawsuit by Guam citizens opposing U.S. military plans to build Marine Corps training ranges on indigenous land will be heard in court Sept. 19, according to a schedule set this week in Hawaii district court.
The suit was filed in November by Guam Preservation Trust, the National Trust for Historic Preservation, the citizens group We Are Guahan and individual island residents. They claim the Department of Defense did not adequately search for alternative sites before choosing to locate the live-fire ranges on about 1,090 acres of coastal forest that contains native Chamorro archaeological ruins.
The Department of Justice has until April 15 to file an initial answer to the lawsuit claims, according to the schedule provided by We Are Guahan.
The military says the training ranges are a crucial component in the planned relocation of 8,600 Marines to Guam from Okinawa by 2014. But opposition has erupted on the tiny island territory over the chosen location, known as Pagat, because it is a spiritual center and place for Chamorros to commune with ancestral spirits.