Military Buildup Moves Forward… without Pagat

Governor receives answer on firing range and Marine housing

The Governor has received an answer to his effort to save Pagat and any other private lands from the military buildup’s needs: the military informed him of the new preferred sites for its training range and housing area for the Marines:
–       Live fire training range: Northwest Field
–       Marine cantonment: NCTMS
Both locations are within the military’s existing footprint. This means the military, at this point in time and should the other federal agencies agree, is not considering Pagat as its preferred site for the firing range.
“My thanks to everyone in our community, in our administration and in the military who worked hard to keep Pagat from being the firing range,” Governor Calvo said. “I’m pleased with this preliminary decision for three main reasons. First, we saved Pagat as we promised we would work toward. Second, the military is moving forward in the spirit of its four pillars, one of which was to reduce its footprint and the other to leave Pagat village and caves untouched. And finally, because this news signals that the buildup is moving forward. This is good news all around.”
On February 17, 2011 Governor Calvo spoke before the Chamber of Commerce and released the four pillars he negotiated into the Programmatic Agreement. One of those was, “Leaving Pagat village and caves untouched.” The Governor is pleased that the military responded and has moved away from Pagat as its preferred site. We should note that this is the plan for now, meaning, if all goes well, the new preferred sites most likely will be chosen in the final analysis. This does not preclude the military from evaluating any of the other alternatives during this planning period.
Identification of the preferred alternative at this stage in the Draft SEIS is not the Navy’s final decision, nor does it limit the range of alternatives we will consider. The Navy is continuing to analyze and consider the full range of alternatives during the SEIS process. The Navy will not make a decision until the Final SEIS has been completed. A Record of Decision (ROD) is expected in early 2015.
“This is a proud moment for us, because the Programmatic Agreement was one of the first big initiatives we took up when we came to office,” Governor Calvo said. “It involved serious negotiations with the Navy. One of the things we were adamant about was that it was important for the military to commit to reducing the federal government’s footprint on our lands, or what we call a ‘net negative.’ We understood very well that a commitment like that begins with a commitment not to take more land. This move away from considering Pagat is a big step in the right direction.”

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