Dozens of local residents, sporting camp owners, and tribal representatives have raised concerns about Wolfden Resources’ proposed metal mine at Pickett Mountain, not far from Baxter State Park and the Katahdin Woods & Waters Monument.
These Mainers have all joined the Natural Resources Council of Maine (NRCM) in submitting comments to the Land Use Planning Commission (LUPC) to oppose Wolfden’s petition to rezone 528 acres for its mining operation. We took a moment to pull out some inspiring comments shared by local residents who oppose this project. These comments demonstrate just how deeply concerned Maine people are about the pollution that would result from Wolfden’s operation, should this dangerous proposal be accepted. These concerns are not only for the environment but also extend to the economy, which relies on clean, healthy natural resources.
It’s not too late to join this chorus of opposition. The LUPC is still accepting public comments. We encourage you to tell LUPC that it should reject Wolfden’s application for rezoning because the company has no prospects of being able to operate its proposed mine without seriously damaging Maine’s environment. Make your voice heard by sending an email to the staff at LUPC at Wolfdenrezoning.LUPC@maine.gov.
—Todd Martin, NRCM Grassroots Outreach Coordinator
“This project will have a direct impact on the water quality of Upper Shin Pond and our drinking water…People come here to fish, to go birding on the water and hopefully see the loons and to swim. We want to keep our pond as clean and as wild as possible…” —Michael and Lindsay Downing, Owners, Mt. Chase Lodge, Mt. Chase, ME
“We not only base our existence on these heritage waters but Maine itself is one of the last safe zones for wild native Brook Trout and Salmon. Why would we take a chance and put this valuable resource at risk? As a long time, sporting lodge owner and master Maine guide I would strongly request the Maine LUPC take a firm stance against any chance that this proposal could jeopardize the natural resources that all Mainers cherish. A risk that could change the resource forever.” —Jason and Sherry Bouchard, Owners, Chandler Lake Camps and Lodge, T9R8 Aroostook County, Maine
“First and foremost, Wolfden’s proposed mine is a threat to our businesses and the natural resources upon which we depend…We are concerned that the project will cause significant ecological harm to the forests and waterways that our members use for guiding. We are heavily reliant upon undeveloped, scenic, quiet natural habitats and wildlife encounters that distinguish Maine’s North Woods and attract customers to keep our businesses alive. The proposed mine would degrade the quality and character of the places we have counted on for decades to take clients and would negatively affect numerous recreational opportunities in the area.” —Jeanne Christie, Board President, Maine Wilderness Guides Organization
Maine Tribes Speak Out:
“A metallic mineral mine project is one that should not be entered into lightly without a thorough assessment so as to prevent speculative operations and disastrous environmental damages. Tribes all around the country are harmed by the tragic damages and consequences of poorly planned mining operations that impact their resources, and we do not want to be counted among those.”
—Chief Kirk Francis, Penobscot Indian Nation
“Since time immemorial, we Maliseet have maintained our inherent connection to the environment and understand our responsibility to care for land, water, air and all creatures that depend on a healthy ecosystem. We are profoundly aware of the danger our current methods of mining pose to all these resources. Since 2012 we have invested much time and effort supporting strong mining rules both for Maine’s Land Use Planning Commission and Department of Environmental Protection by engaging in the public processes available to us during rulemaking and through the Legislature. It is very disheartening to hear that any part of the rules we worked for could be waived.” —Chief Clarissa Sabattis, Houlton Band of Maliseets
Local Residents Speak Out:
“Think about the locals and our health and safety. Health and safety of the living creatures living in the area should be first and foremost of concern, when thinking of mining, not the monetary aspect of it. Mining in Maine will negatively affect our beautiful state.” —Sherri Skinner, Mt. Chase
“We are a two-generation family farm located in the Unorganized Territory of Central Aroostook County and have been farming for the past 44 years. We grow Maine Certified Seed Potatoes and direct-sell via a catalog and website to home and market gardeners in all fifty states. Customers buy from us because we grow good seed and because they perceive the Northern Maine environment to be unspoiled. We live and farm seven miles east of Maple Mountain which contains a similar massive sulfide deposit. We are very concerned that LUPC not establish bad precedent by going easy on this out of state corporation which has a penchant for not answering valid questions in the vetting process.” —Jim and Caleb Gerritsen, Bridgewater
“I grew up in Aroostook County and five years ago, after living away for more than 15+ years, we moved back. I wanted to raise my kids where they have access to playing in nature every day… My kids enjoy splashing in the stream and explore the woods daily. Metal mining can quickly destroy these types of environments. There is no coming back from mining. Please do not allow any metal mining anywhere in Maine….” —Sharon Callnan Bodenstab, Houlton
“I live work and play in this great State. I particularly enjoy one of Maine’s greatest asset, Baxter State Park and beautiful surrounding area…The gaps in Wolfden’s rezoning petition, as well as their reticence to share information with the Commission, give me significant grounds for concern. Metal mining is risky and costly. Wolfden does not appear to have the financial or technical resources to mitigate these risks.” —Patty Blackstone, Caribou
“I know workers in the original exploration of Bald Mountain in the 1970s who were sickened just from the drilling. From extensive research during the Bald Mountain threat, I know that mining massive sulfide deposits anywhere in the world pollutes surrounding waters to such a degree that they destroy an economy such as ours dependent on clean water for sustainable outdoor sports of fishing and hunting.” —Alice Bolstridge, Presque Isle
“I drive through Mt. Chase regularly and am always struck by its wild beauty. Our land and waters are precious. Don’t let this Canadian mining company destroy what we hold so dear. Thank you for the opportunity to comment.” —Penny Gray, Fort Kent