Sunday, October 12, 2008

Link to the Friends of the Monument blog

Good For Indigeneous CultureWould you like to help spread the word about the Friends of the Monument blog? Just copy and paste the following code into your blog template!

Mariana Monument Banner

The federal workshops on Saipan are just over one week away! There are ways that you can help to support the monument. Click HERE for more information.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

FMI gets Earth Team Volunteer award

Marites Aquino Castillo, president/chairwomen of the volunteer group known as Friends of the Mariana Islands (FMI), and Angelo O'Connor Villagomez were recently presented the Earth Team Volunteer Award and Certificates for their environmental efforts.

Castillo received two awards, one for herself and the other one for the FMI Group's activities.

Villagomez's's genius is as a grass roots organizer, while Castillo's Group, the FMI, provided the muscle and backbone for the Earth Team Volunteer activities with over 6,000 volunteer hours so far in 2008.

Castillo and the FMI Group performed miracles by volunteering to clean up the roads and beaches of Saipan. Their goal is to maintain the environment for the benefit of everyone in the CNMI. Their motto is: “Do it whole heartedly and expect nothing in return except from your self.”

According to Castillo, the FMI group began consistently cleaning up of roads and beaches in June 2006. Since then they have cleaned up Lau Lau Beach every third Sunday of the month, which now amounts to 23 consecutive months of activity.

During these same months on every second Sunday they were also cleaning up ISA Drive Rd. from the Saipan Botanical Gardens to the stoplight Intersection that leads to Northern Marianas Colleges.

The FMI has also worked other weekends beautifying other parts of Saipan.

When asked, “How can your group possibly do this much work?” Castillo replied: “The Friends of the Mariana Islands Earth Team Volunteers get a great feeling of pride for the work they do for the environment of Saipan.”

She cited the help of other individuals and groups who have contributed to FMI's cause. “Thanks to former Rep. Jacinta M. Kaipat, Angelo, and Mr. Ken [Kramer] for their motivation and assistance in helping us keep Saipan beautiful.”

“I hope that people will know, appreciate, and remember that it was and will be the hard work of Friends of the Mariana Islands Earth Team Volunteers that helps make Saipan a cleaner and more beautiful place to live! Let's all work together and keep this island even more beautiful!”

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Free grazing workshop for islands' ranchers

The Marianas Resource Conservation & Development Council, in cooperation with the three CNMI Soil and Water Conservation Districts, is hosting a free grazing workshop for all interested farmers, ranchers and conservation agencies in the CNMI. Everyone with grazing livestock is encouraged to attend.

The workshop will focus on various aspects of grazing lands management including recommended plants for the best quality livestock forage, pasture planting techniques, weed control options, animal nutrition, soils and other management principles designed to give island cattle and goat ranchers the tools they need to maximize productivity while protecting their animals' health and conserving their natural resources.

Technical expertise for the workshop will be provided by grazing experts from the Natural Resources Conservation Service, an agency within the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Presenters for the workshop will include area soil scientist Robert Gavenda from Guam, and state rangeland conservationist from Hawaii, Lori Metz, along with Jeff Repp and Gene Fultz, both grazing land technology specialists from the NRCS West Region Technical Center in Portland, Oregon. Several employees from the local NRCS Field Office on Saipan will also participate and provide local commentary.

A full day of technical advice will be delivered on each island starting with Tinian on Thursday, April 17, then moving to Saipan on Friday, April 18. The workshop on Rota will be held on Monday, April 21.

The workshop will consist of a walking tour and field presentation starting at 8am on an actual working ranch that is currently participating in NRCS conservation programs. In the afternoon, the workshop will continue in a classroom segment until 4:30pm to be held at the Northern Marianas College campus on each island.

Workshop attendees on Tinian will gather at the ranch of Frank Diaz for the morning session. Anyone requiring directions to the location can meet at the DLNR office at 7:30am and follow NRCS staff to the Diaz ranch.

The field portion for the Saipan segment will be held at the ranch of Captain Ernest Torres in the Obyan area. Attendees are asked to gather at the NRCS field office on Beach Road at 7:30am should they need directions to the Torres Ranch. Afternoon classes will be held in Room D-1 of the NMC campus.

Rota attendees will gather at the NMC campus at 7:30am for directions to the field portion which will be held at the ranch of Maria Fujihira, in the Lalayak area. After lunch, the workshop will continue in Room B-2 of the Rota NMC campus. Attendees must arrange their own transportation.

All those interested in attending the free workshop are encouraged to contact the NRCS field office for specific information the day before. Call 236-0888 or 236-0880.

Persons with disabilities who require alternative means for communication of program information (Braille, large print, audiotape, etc.) should contact USDA's TARGET Center at (202) 720-2600 (voice and TDD). (USDA)

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Final Report Handed Over

Angelo Villagomez and Ike Cabrera
Public Involvement Coordinator Angelo Villagomez (and his dog Oreo) handed over the Coral Reef Awareness in Saipan Final Report to Marianas Resource Conservation & Development Vice President on March 6, 2008.

Villagomez and RC&D Coordinator Ken Kramer have applied for another grant to continue this successful project. For a copy of the report, contact Kramer or download it here.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Final Report Available Online

My final report for the NFWF Coral Reef Awareness in Saipan project is available on the Marianas RC&D website. The project was a success.

RC&D currently does not have funding to continue this project, but we will be applying for grants in the coming year.