Just wanted to clear that up.
I want to comment on the article in this blog post. I've posted it in its entirety below if you want to read it first.
So, do I think it makes more scientific sense to protect an entire ecosystem rather than a patchwork of postage stamps? Absolutely. Is that something I want to begin working on right now? Probably not.
There are a number of things that need to be worked out with the monument that we have right now. We need to focus on getting the benefits that were promised to us. Let's get that visitors center. Let's get that enforcement/research boat. Let's get a few local people hired as monument staff. Let's begin work on the draft regulations.
Once some of those benefits start trickling in, then we can start thinking about extending the protections to the full Exclusive Economic Zone and protecting the entire ecosystem.
I promise you that one day the Marianas Trench Marine National Monument will extend out to 200 miles. It will protect all of the seamounts, hydrothermal vents, whales, and other unique life within its borders. That day may not be for 2, 20, or 200 years, but I promise you that that day will come. And when that day comes, I also promise you that it will again be supported by a majority of the people of the Commonwealth, much as today's monument is supported by our political establishment, our business community, and most of our residents.
Here is the full article:
Friends of Monument yet to decide if they will pursue original proposalThat last paragraph makes no sense. I never said anything like it. If I was going to make a statement like that, it would be something to the effect of "I hope this monument management plan drafting process is open to the public and not simply the purview of political appointees."
BY JUNHAN B. TODENO - VARIETY NEWS STAFF
THE Friends of the Monument will not lobby the U.S. Congress to implement the proponents’ original proposal for the Marianas Trench Marine National Monument.
Angelo Villagomez of the Friends of the Monument said even during the Bush administration their group did not lobby Congress.
“We worked with the Bush administration,” he said.
Ask if they will lobby the new administration of President Obama, Villagomez said: “That has yet to be seen.”
He said even if their group decided to move forward, they have yet to know who they will work with in the new administration.
He said what their group is interested to know the benefits that CNMI will get from the monument.
They want to see the establishment of a visitor center and the creation of federal jobs for local residents, he added.
The Friends of the Monument have yet to meet to discuss what next step they will undertake after the declaration of the monument, Villagomez said.
He is hoping that the CNMI leadership will seriously focus on the benefits that can be derived from the declaration of the monument, adding that the Friends of the Monument will continue to cooperate with local officials.
Last January, Gov. Benigno R. Fitial appointed three representatives to the advisory council for the Marianas Trench Marine National Monument — Benigno M. Sablan, a member of the Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council; Joaquin P. Villagomez, a former member of Wespac’s advisory panel; and Sylvan O. Igisomar, the director of the Division of Fish and Wildlife.
Villagomez commended the CNMI leaders and the White House for the monument declaration.
With the creation of the advisory council, he said he is hoping that the CNMI will continue to inform the people how the monument is going to be managed. [emphasis mine]