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SASEBO NAVAL BASE, Japan — The Navy has extended the comment period for residents of Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands to address the Defense Department’s plan to allow the public to visit certain sites on U.S. military property.

Residents now have until Oct. 31 to submit comments.

The U.S. military plans to build firing ranges on ancestral lands in Guam as part of a multi-billion dollar realignment that includes the relocation of Marine Corps Air Station Futenma to northern Okinawa and the move of 8,600 Marines and their families to Guam. Navy officials have said the live-fire ranges could be built with minimal damage to the land that has archaeological importance with its ancient graves and medicinal plants used by the indigenous Chamorro people.

The Public Access Plan is a requirement associated with the realignment effort and is intended to allow visits to significant cultural and historic sites located on DOD property, according to a news release from Naval Facilities Engineering Command Marianas.

“The extra time for public comments is our continued commitment to partner with the Guam and CNMI State Historic Preservation Offices and stakeholders,” said Jennifer Farley, NAVFAC Marianas natural resources specialist.

Comment forms can be found at the NAVFAC Pacific Cultural Resources Information website or at the Guam SHPO website.

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