Recommendation 2: Reestablish the American Memorial Park Development Advisory Committee
Request to reestablish the American Memorial Park Development Advisory Committee alongside U.S. National Park Service
Pursuant to Section 803(e) of the Covenant to Establish the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands in Political Union with the United States of America and Part 5(B) of the Technical Agreement signed by the parties of the Covenant, along with Article XI, Section 6(d) of the Commonwealth Constitution, a portion of the funds held by the Marianas Public Lands Trust (MPLT) is held to produce income for the development and maintenance of American Memorial Park.
The resources provided by this investment of funds have provided for more than $6.2 million in development projects for the park over the last 29 years, to include the tennis court installation, American Memorial Pavilion, AMP World War II Memorial, bicycle pathways, lighting, and collateral for a loan to build the Cultural/Visitors Center & Memorial Gardens.
As a collaboration between CNMI and National Parks Service officials, the management and development of these attractions over these many years has been a function and success of the American Memorial Park Development Advisory Committee.
Over the years since the creation of the last major development within the American Memorial Park, the Development Advisory Committee has dissolved, leaving the potential developments and management of the park without direct local consultation and involvement in decisions made for the park’s future.
American Memorial Park represents a significant aspect of the CNMI’s tourism product and the site in which it is located houses prime community, cultural, and historic value for residents and visitors of our islands.
In the ongoing efforts to reinvigorate the CNMI’s tourism attractions the Council of Economic Advisors recommends that the Office of the Governor formally engage the U.S. Department of Interior to reestablish the American Memorial Park Development Advisory Committee, and the appointments be made to provide the Development Advisory Committee with stakeholders from the CNMI versed in the historic, cultural, and economic importance of the site. In the past iteration of the Development Advisory Council, the lead for the CNMI has been a responsibility delegated to the Lieutenant Governor.
The Council of Economic Advisors believes that the reestablishment of this Committee will provide for the necessary redevelopment of the park’s assets, a venue to create new additions to the park’s attractions, and provide a space to host dialogue on the co-use of the park grounds for community activities.
Concurred by the Members of the Tourism and Infrastructure Committee
Governor’s Council of Economic Advisers