The Problem
as first reported by EnviroWatch in March, 1998



Bird count declines on target island

as reported in The Honolulu Advertiser, 8/29/2001

SAIPAN, Northern Mariana Islands - The U.S. Navy has confirmed a decrease in the number of birds on Farallon de Medinilla island, which is being used for bombing training.           

A  Navy public affairs officer on Guam, Lt. Monica M. Richardson, denied in a Saipan Tribune interview that the bombing has anything to do with the decline in the bird count.  She said the Navy consulted with biologists to identify island areas where bombing could take place safely away from bird colonies.

Gov. Pedro P. Tenorio has requested an extensive environmental survey of the island.

Bombing of Island ruled a violation

as reported in The Honolulu Advertiser, 3/17/2002

Hagatna, Guam - U.S. military bombing of Farallon de Medinilla in the Northern Marianas violates a 1918 treaty protecting migratory birds,  U.S. District Judge Emmett G. Sullivan has ruled.

Guam's delgates to Congress, Robert Underwood, said what happens next might depend on whether the military continues to view the Northern Marianas and Guam as valuable training sites.

The Center for Biological Diversity sued the Navy and the Defense Department to prevent further libe-fire training exercises on the uninhabited island.   The lawsuit said the bombing of Farallon de Medinilla is killing several avian species in violation of the Migratory Bird Tready Act.

Judge Sullivan is expected to issue a follow-up decision on the violation next month. 

A hearing has been set for April 20.