15 Sep 2014
- By Junhan B. Todiño - email@example.com - Variety News Staff
DAVE Lotz, a noted researcher on Marianas history who is involved in protecting the islands’ heritage, will be one of the passengers of Silver Explorer cruise ship that is scheduled to visit Pagan on Sept. 28.
He told Variety that his trip to Pagan is an something “I have wanted to do for some time now.”
Lotz, who worked on Saipan during the Trust Territory days, said he is interested in seeing the other islands in the north.
He and his wife Beverly will travel to Japan from where Silver Explorer will start its trip to Pagan.
Lotz said his visit has something to do with his historical research and is related to World War II in the region.
Lotz is the author of several books including “The Best Tracks on Guam,” “The Guam Guide,” “Making Tracks in the Mariana Islands” and “World War II Remnants.”
Asked about the proposed military training on Pagan, Lotz said it was not a good idea.
“It would forever change the island. Witness Guam, Tinian, and Saipan compared to Rota,” he said.
Lotz said he was also involved in opposing military live fire exercises in Pagat on Guam along with We Are Guahan and the Guam Boonie Stompers.
Lotz likewise assisted in developing the historical preservation programs on both Guam and the CNMI, and was a party to the CNMI Joint Military Training Section 106 consultation.
He said the islands’ heritage should not be sacrificed to the military.
The proposed militarization on Pagan, he added, is the “same thing” but in a “different location,” referring to Pagat on Guam.
Lotz said the people of the Northern Islands should be the sole decision makers on the issue of military training.
The Save Pagan advocates should maintain a public presence and be ready to go to court, he added.
“See if the Department of Defense really respects the people of the CNMI and the Covenant,” he said.
He is hoping that the other passengers on Silver Explorer will be impressed by Pagan and become its advocates.
Lotz encourages local advocates and residents to be prepared to greet their guests warmly and impress upon the visitors the uniqueness of Pagan and the rights of the local people.
Asked what he thinks about the potential of Pagan for tourism and agriculture, he said “Pagan strikes me as a perfect location for adventure/ecotourism as evident by the visit of Silver Explorer. But I’m not certain about agriculture as I am unfamiliar with Pagan.”
Lotz served on the Guam Preservation Trust and the Guam Historic Preservation Review Board and retired as Guam parks administrator in 1996.
He was also the conservation resources chief at the Andersen Air Force Base on Guam in 2011.
“I have hiked and explored the five southern Mariana islands of Saipan, Tinian, Aguiguan, Rota and Guam extensively,” he said.