Statement on Wolfden application to mine Pickett Mountain

We stand in solidarity with the Houlton Band of Maliseets, the Penobscot Nation and other intervenors in opposing the proposed metallic mining at Pickett Mountain and protecting the lands and waters for today and future generations. 


We strenuously urge the Land Use Planning Commission, of Maine's Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry, to deny Wolfden's current application, and any future applications, to rezone for the purposes of metallic mining.  


Recent years' environmental rollbacks around mining have made the wilderness vulnerable. The proposed mining would harm subsistence hunting, fishing, foraging, and Wabanaki culture. It will irreparably and irrevocably harm the land, the waters that surround it, and life within it, including endangered Atlantic Salmon and Brook Trout. It would prevent a nature resource based economy.


The Environmental Protection Agency calls metallic mining the most polluting industry in North America. Wolfden will be no exception. There has never been a sulfide mine that hasn't contaminated surrounding ground water. Mines from the 70's are still leaching contaminants into the water today. Wolfden and its investors are responsible for mercury contamination and Clean Water Act violations numbering in the thousands, contaminating land and water for present and future generations. 


We know this process leaches mercury and arsenic into the land and water. Further, it would introduce millions of pounds of cyanide into the pristine wilderness near critical waterways and tribal trust lands. 


Should clean-up be required, Wolfden has only committed what amounts to 2% of its anticipated profits to remediation; the company would be then free to walk away after causing irrevocable damage. And there is no amount of money that will undo that.


We should refuse to allow profit-grabbing extractors from desecrating the land. We urge the Land Use Planning Commission to deny Wolfden this application to mine Pickett Mountain.


Based on testimony provided to the Land Use Planning Commission by party spokesperson Kelly Merrill.