Cinta Kaipat wrote a letter about...me! She was just reminding the people of the CNMI of who I am.
Ignacio Cabrera had another letter today, too. He writes:
We need to protect something for the indigenous, like what Hawaii has done. If they made some mistakes in creating their monument, how can we create our monument so that we don’t repeat those mistakes? If you don’t like what happened in Hawaii, why not focus on how we can make our monument better, instead of fighting each other over the issue? Why can’t we improve on what they’ve done?There was also a letter against the Mariana Trench Monument from William "Bamboo" McCue, who lived on Saipan several years ago.
I might as well address his concerns point by point. My comments are in bold:
I've read with interest all the folk who are in favor or the Pew national marine monument around the top three islands of the CNMI. Millions of dollars in ecotourism, a huge revenue generating visitor center, worldwide recognition of the CNMI as a green place etc. The best was the two writers that said the local fishermen would use gasoline to drive their boats up there. Any boat that could make it there and back will not have a gasoline engine. Not understanding this simple fact shows the proponents are people who know little about life around the ocean. You cannot have an informed opinion unless you have knowledge of that which you are talking about. How many boats currently fish these islands for reef fish? I'm guessing it's close to zero. That's really all a monument will protect; pelagic fish are just that-pelagic. Look it up if you don't know what it means. I'm guessing someone wrote gas instead of diesel. Simple mistake. The area is large enough that it would protect pelagic species.******
I wonder how many of you have been to the Northwest Hawaiian Islands, had any experience with the life there or how the people that control the monument interact and conduct themselves. The NWHI monument actually took jobs away from citizens and contract workers. Midway Atoll had a thriving eco-tourism business (catch and release fishing, bird watching and nature tours) that employed over 100 people and it shut down due to restrictive rules. Windsurfing and surfing were not allowed that's how contorted the rules became. I worked and lived on Midway for two seasons. Now there is no virtually no employment there, and dozens of other jobs that supported the Atoll are now gone also. The Oceanic Society is bringing people to Midway right now. He is misinformed.
The islands of the proposed PEW monument are not visited by tourists now, nor will they be if it is a monument. How many people go up there annually now can probably be counted on your hands and toes, and a good percentage of those are scientists already. The CNMI controls the islands, and that's the way it should stay. Nothing good will happen if it gives up control. With a Monument, the CNMI would continue to control the islands. WESPAC opposes World Heritage Status for Hawaii because they think it will attract too many tourists. Which is it? Too many tourists or no tourists?
I applaud the Senate for clarifying their recently passed joint resolution. I hope that it is enough to keep this proposal on the table. I hope that the press reports on the speeches that were given in the Senate Chamber yesterday afternoon.
As I mentioned previously, the White House will cull down the number of proposals. After they do that, they will begin engaging the local governments that make the cut.
I hope we're one of those finalists.