Thursday, June 7, 2012

Monument council achieves goals

Report by the Marianas Variety

IN its second and final day, the Mariana trench monument advisory council concluded its inaugural meeting yesterday at Fiesta Resort.
The Mariana trench monument advisory council members and agency staff pose for a group photo. Front row, from left, Dr. John Joyner, vice chairman and special advisor to Gov. Benigno R. Fitial; Arnold Palacios, secretary, Department of Land and Natural Resources; Susan White, monuments superintendent/refuge project leader, Pacific Reefs National Wildlife Refuge Complex, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service; Ben Sablan, chairman; Lisa K. Croft, deputy regional administrator, NOAA Fisheries Pacific Islands Regional Office; Morgan Roper, commander, U.S. Coast Guard. Back row, from left, Heidi Hirsch, marine monument program specialist, NOAA; Roy Tsutsui, defense coordinating officer, Department of Defense based on Guam; and Barry W. Stieglitz, refugee supervisor, Hawaiian and Pacific Islands NWRC, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. Contributed photo

Council member Roy Tsutsui, defense coordinating officer, Department of Defense based on Guam, facilitated an expedited and productive morning drilling down into finalizing a draft of the organizational and procedural guidelines regarding the council’s work.

 
“Imagine writing the NMI Covenant or the U.S. Constitution in three hours,” described Lisa K. Croft, deputy regional administrator, NOAA Fisheries Pacific Islands Regional Office and agency participant.

The rest of the council was equally as impressed with Tsutsui’s ability to keep the process flowing and enabling consensus.

“Roy did a terrific job today and we’re off to a good start,” stated Dr. John Joyner, newly elected council vice chairman and special advisor to Gov. Benigno R. Fitial.

Ben Sablan, former secretary of Department of Land and Natural Resources was voted chairman.
Now that the groundwork and framework was achieved the advisory council now will turn its attention to discussing and adopting recommendations for the management of the Marianas Trench Marine National Monument established in January 2009.

Once the council’s recommendations are completed and agreed upon they will be forwarded to the U.S. Departments of the Interior and Commerce for review.

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