In managing and operating the above described natural areas and cultural sites, the NPS would develop appropriate public access and provide basic visitor services such as restrooms and parking. The NPS would also develop interpretive facilities and services such as wayside exhibits, publications, guides, park maps, and ranger talks and programs. No overnight facilities would be developed by the NPS within any of the areas. Rather, the NPS would rely on private enterprise to develop any lodging facilities or other commercial services needed for visitors outside the boundary of any national park system unit.
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7.3 Large Natural Areas and Significant Cultural Sites

Based on the foregoing evaluation of significance and suitability, the following areas have been found to contain cultural or natural resources possessing the potential for being considered by Congress for inclusion in the national park system.

Figure 11 shows the general extent of a large natural area and four cultural sites on Rota to be feasible for park management as part of the national park system--or as the initial units of a Commonwealth park system legislatively established by the CNMI.

7.3.1 Mochon Latte Stone Village
Any national park area here should encompass at a minimum the 46 individual latte stone sites, the associated pottery and artifact scatters, the stone-lined water wells plus a sufficient buffer area to ensure the protection of the prehistoric village setting and where appropriate visitor use facilities could be developed. The area has potential to be managed and operated as an individual historic unit or as a sub-unit of a larger unit of the national park system. The national park area should also encompass the adjacent pristine white sand beach that provides nesting areas for the endangered hawksbill sea turtle. There are also examples of Rota's fringing coral reef found along this coast. The offshore waters and their benthic habitats should also be included in any national park unit.
This pristine white sand beach and tide pools adjoin the Mochong village.
The mayor of Rota and the CNMI Historic Preservation Office have proposed that approximately 50 acres of the ancient village site of Mochon be designated the Mochong Cultural Interpretive Site. About one-half of the present designated historic preservation site is in public ownership, acquired by CNMI as a land exchange with the owners.
7.3.2 Taga Latte Stone Quarry
Any national park area here should include all of the eight latte stone columns and the eight stone capstones--all in varying stages of being quarried out of the limestone rock, plus the adjoining trenches. The national park area needs to also include a sufficient amount of the surrounding land to preserve the visual integrity of the historic setting. Measures are also needed to ensure the public has access to the site through the surrounding lands.

This potential national park area could be managed as either a separate historic unit or as part of a larger, more extensive national park area. The area containing the stone columns and capstones is presently in public ownership and within a locally designated historic preservation site. However, the surrounding area consists of lands that are part of a proposed agricultural homestead project area. If agricultural homesteads were to be developed on these adjacent lands, the integrity of the quarry's prehistoric setting would be seriously compromised.

7.3.3 Chugai Pictograph Cave
The entire 185-foot long cave, containing approximately 90 pictographs of prehistoric origin, plus the remains of the World War II Japanese quarters and associated artifact material located near the cave entrance would merit inclusion in any national park area. The trail and rock stairway currently providing access to the pictograph cave also should be included in the national park area, as well as the graded parking area located at the trailhead.

The pictograph cave is located within the I Chenchon Bird Sanctuary, although most of the trail accessing the sanctuary is located in a locally designated conservation area that currently does not have full legal protection status. The cave would not be feasible to manage as a separate national park area.

7.3.4 Alaguan Bay Ancient Village
The more than 60 latte comprising the seven distinct residential areas of an ancient Chamorro village plus the associated artifact scatters have the potential to be managed as a historical area of the national park system. The sites' significance would make it worthy of being managed as a separate unit, but due to its location within a tall-canopy limestone forest it also could be managed as part of a large natural area, but where the protection and preservation of cultural resources would receive highest priority. The development of access and visitor use facilities to the site would be consistent with managing resources within a large natural area.
7.3.5 Native Limestone Forest
The portion of Rota beginning at the northeastern end of the island and extending around the eastern coastal cliff lines to include the I Chenchon Bird Sanctuary and the southern coastal cliff lines including all of the Alaguan area down to Puntan Haina, plus the extensive area surrounding the Sabana encompassing As Rosalia on the east, the steep slopes of Mananana and Uyulan Hulo on the north, Isang on the west, and the uppermost portions of the Takakhaya to the south possesses the natural resource values meriting management as a unit of the national park system. The offshore waters and their benthic habitats from the Mochon Latte Stone Village to Puntan Haina should also be included.

Within this area are the best examples of Rota's limestone forest, which is an excellent representation of what remains throughout the CNMI of the Mariana limestone forest. Also located within this area is most of what remains of the mature (closed canopy) native limestone forest. Nearly all of the locations that have been found to contain subpopulations of the endangered plant, Serianthes nelsonii, are within this area.

This expanse of native forest includes most of the area identified on Rota as critical habitat for the endangered Mariana crow and nearly all of the area identified as habitat for the endangered Rota bridled white-eye. Moreover, all of the locations identified on Rota as roosting areas for the threatened Mariana fruit bat are within this area, as are the locations providing habitat for species of native butterflies and snails. The existing I Chenchon Bird Sanctuary where several species of nesting sea birds are found is also within this area.

Other natural resources within the area are portions of the native strand vegetation along the north coast from As Matmos to the boundary of the I Chenchong Bird Sanctuary. There are also small stands of atoll forest along this coast. Rota has the most extensive stands of atoll forest, which are now quite limited on Saipan and absent on Tinian. Included also within this large natural area is a good representation of Rota's fringing coral reef and other benthic habitats.

In addition to its natural resources, this area contains important cultural resources. This entire coastal area from Mochon to As Matmos appears to have been the site of a major prehistoric settlement and is rich in archeological resources, including latte stone village sites and major areas of pottery shards from the latte and pre-latte periods. This area is being proposed for local designation as the Maya Historical District. Numerous archeological sites are dispersed among the eastern and southern coastal cliff lines of Rota, as well as inland from those cliffs. The most significant sites known around the eastern end of the island are the Chugai Pictograph Cave and the Taga Stone Quarry. Along Rota's southern coast there are important archeological sites, in particular the Alaguan area where surface scatters of cultural material are believed to be the most abundant on the island. This portion has been designated as the Alaguan Bay Historical District. In addition, several caves containing pictographs have been documented in the cliffs above that coast. This extensive area undoubtedly contains many other archeological sites and features, as yet undiscovered.
This entire area is on public lands that have been either already designated or proposed for designation as local conservation areas. Only a few private lands exist within the entire area identified here as existing or proposed conservation areas. As a potential national park, this entire area should be managed as a single cohesive, contiguous, ecological unit primarily for the long-term protection of a significant portion of Rota's native limestone forest as well as its threatened and endangered species such as the Mariana crow (available evidence indicates this species is most abundant in native limestone forests). Wherever significant cultural resources are present in this area, they would be protected and managed as similar resources in separate historic areas.
Figure 11. Significant Natural Areas and Cultural Sites Feasible for Park Management.
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7.3.6 Concepts for Resource Management and Visitor Use
The following concepts are intended to illustrate the basic management principles used by the NPS in operating units of the national park system. Broadly, in large natural areas, the NPS preserves biotic and geologic resources, as well as processes, systems, and values in an unimpaired condition, to perpetuate their inherent integrity and to provide present and future generations with the opportunity to enjoy them. In cultural areas where significant prehistoric sites and features exist, the NPS preserves and fosters appreciation of these resources, and in its management would demonstrate respect for those peoples who are traditionally associated with these resources.
7.3.6.1 Large natural areas. Natural areas such as Rota's native limestone forest would be managed to preserve their inherent integrity as a functioning ecosystem. Resource management would focus on providing visitors with the opportunity to enjoy and benefit from observing natural systems evolve, with minimum influence by human actions. Landscapes disturbed by natural phenomena such as hurricanes, landslides or fires would be allowed to recover naturally. Natural resource values protected by the NPS include plants, animals, water quality, soils, geologic features, air quality, and scenic vistas.
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Visitor walkways, similar to parks in south Florida, could be extended into the booby rookeries with careful access only in company with local guides
7.3.6.2 Significant cultural areas. Cultural sites such as Mochon, Taga, Chugai and Alaguan Bay would be managed by the NPS for their long-term preservation and for visitor enjoyment. Though public access and interpretation would be provided to these sites, the preservation of significant prehistoric resources in their existing condition would receive primary consideration. The NPS would employ appropriate treatments and techniques to protect these sites and their cultural values from deterioration, overuse, theft and vandalism without compromising their integrity.
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The Rota Legislative Delegation has indicated there is strong local support from residents for conservation on that island. They cite the three land conservation areas and the one marine conservation area previously established on Rota during the 1990's (as well as other legislation) as evidence of this support.
7.4 Reconnaissance Survey Findings

Inclusion in the national park system is one of the ways to ensure that the very best places in our nation are protected for the enjoyment of future generations. Of the alternatives, the establishment of a unit of the national park system appears to be the best way to ensure the long-term protection of Rota's most important cultural resources and the best examples of its native limestone forest. Management by the NPS ensures that these resources would be interpreted for visitors and appropriate facilities developed for visitor use. The NPS has a long tradition of managing cultural resources and large natural areas. If established by Congress as a unit of the national park system, the areas on Rota containing a representative and feasible sampling of its most significant resources would be eligible for both base and project funding on a sustained basis.

Kaloko-Honokohau National Historical Park in Hawaii provides a good example of the sustained funding which is available to units of the national park system. Congress established Kaloko-Honokohau in 1978 "to provide a center for the preservation, interpretation, and perpetuation of traditional Hawaiian activities and culture." Funding for base operations commenced in 1980. In that year, the park's total operating budget was $122,000. That amount has steadily and significantly increased over the years. By 1985, it was $206,000; in 1990, it was $248,000; in 1995, it was $572,000; and by 2000 the park's annual operating budget had reached $1,000,000. This year, the operating budget for Kaloko-Honokohau totals about $1,500,000.

In addition to annual base operating funds, Kaloko-Honokohau, like all units of the national park system, is eligible to compete for project monies for resource management, cyclic maintenance and interpretation. Over the years, the park has received funds for specific projects totaling nearly $1,000,000.

Kaloko-Honokohau has also successfully competed for construction monies for the development of needed park facilities. Last year, construction was completed for visitor restrooms and parking. This development project was funded at about $600,000. In 2007, Kaloko-Honokohau is scheduled to begin construction of a visitor center/museum. That project is currently funded at $3.4 million.

Based on a long tradition beginning with Yellowstone National Park in 1872 the establishment of a unit of the national park system by Congress appears to be the best way to ensure the long-term protection of Rota's significant cultural and natural resources, including its limestone forests and endangered and threatened plant and wildlife species.

The natural and cultural resources of the island of Rota are important not only to island residents and the CNMI, but to the entire nation. These resource values merit protection in their unimpaired condition for all time. The establishment of a unit of the national park system would assure a source of funding for base operations, plus provide the opportunity for securing project monies for natural and cultural resource management, inventorying and monitoring, carrying capacity studies, wayside exhibits, park guides and maps.

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This reconnaissance survey has found that the nationally significant cultural and natural resources of Rota are presently not being adequately managed. There are only a few of the locally established conservation areas that have any management at all and this appears to be inadequate. The reason for the inadequate level of on-site management is the scarcity of public monies, not the absence of desire by the residents of Rota or the CNMI. In fact, Rota's legislative delegation has shown an extraordinary commitment to the protection of the island's environment through the introduction and passage of several bills. Despite these efforts, none of Rota's resources are guaranteed protection for future generations. The existing conservation areas and the prehistoric sites are not currently being operated and maintained by professional resource managers, nor are they being adequately interpreted for public enjoyment. None of the prehistoric cultural sites are being protected from vandalism and theft.

In summary, the establishment of a unit of the national park system appears to be the best way to ensure the long-term preservation of a significant portion of Rota's native limestone forest. Within the national park unit there would be opportunities for controlling the introduction and spread of non-native plants and animals, including active management to ensure the control of the brown tree snake. Under NPS management, archeological sites would be protected from damage by vegetation and soils aggregation.

7.0 FINDINGS
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7.1 Position of CNMI and Rota Officials
The Rota Legislative Delegation has stated they are pleased with the way the NPS has managed and operated American Memorial Park on Saipan. The delegation believes that a national park would provide for the professional management and long-term protection by law needed to protect their island's unique and significant resources for future generations. The delegation also sees the presence of a national park on Rota as a foundation for a sustainable economy based on tourism.
7.2 Community Interest and Support