Edge Venuti | Rural Youth Organizer: Washington County
Last year, locals from Pembroke sprang into action to protect their precious water. Wolfden Resources Corporation, a Canadian mining company had descended from the north with the hopes of constructing a silver mine in the small rural town. Pembroke lies on Passamoquoddy territory. It is a beautiful place, home to gorgeous natural waterways including the Pennamaquan river. It was no place to industrialize.
Mines, even when conducted “safely,” pose a substantial threat to the natural world. When water is exposed to the sulfide deposits and tailings it becomes saturated with poisonous metals such as mercury, arsenic, and lead. Those poisons then choke up the surrounding aquatic animals and plants before they enter your own drinking water.
Grassroots organizers - from the Pembroke Clean Water Committee, to Passamaquoddy tribe members, to retired folks, to young folks - came together to attend the public hearing event that Wolfden was required to hold. They spoke against the mine, advocating for the land they wanted to protect and keep pristine. As a high schooler, Joey McGlaughin said, “Maine is beautiful and I want to keep it that way.”
With an overwhelming majority, Wolfden was voted out of that small town and the water was protected. The threat had been squashed, for now.
Earlier this year, on January 18, Wolfden submitted another proposal to build yet another mine farther north on Pickett Mountain. They have actually owned Pickett Mountain and the surrounding acres of forests and wetlands since November 16, 2017. They claim that it is one of the “highest grade undeveloped polymetallic massive sulfide deposits in North America.” It is also home to an incredible amount of biodiversity, beautiful trees, and lakes that are all connected to the other great landscapes in Maine including Baxter State Park and Mount Katahdin. Putting these lands at risk for a mining project that has a possibility of being conducted completely safely and securely is not worth it.
The public is encouraged to share their thoughts on this project. If you want to submit a letter please send it by the close of the record after the hearing in August 2023. The Land Use Planning committee can be reached at Wolfdenrezoning.LUPC@maine.gov. Written comments submitted on paper should be sent to the
Maine Land Use Planning Commission
Attention: Tim Carr
22 State House Station
18 Elkins Lane, Augusta