Our full county board will likely act on zoning rules regulating sulfide mining on June 19. The vast majority of the people who testified or attended the hearing opposed sulfide mining in Oneida County.
Several people testified that sulfide mining should be prohibited. Unfortunately, a county zoning ordinance cannot prohibit mining as the state of Wisconsin is the primary regulator of sulfide mining in Wisconsin. Hopefully, the county board will listen to the people and enact a tough ordinance that protects our tourism-based economy in the Northwoods.
There is one way in which the county board can prevent sulfide mining in the town of Lynne, the largest known economically viable mineral deposit in the county. The county board can choose not to lease the mineral rights to a mining company. The mineral deposit lies on county forest land and the rights to mine the minerals are owned collectively by the citizens of Oneida County (you and me). It requires a two-thirds vote of the county board to withdraw county forest land for the purpose of establishing an open pit mine.
If you oppose (or support) mining let your county board supervisor know your opinion. I believe that there are still inherent environmental risks to sulfide mining.
You can look up your county supervisor’s contact information on Oneida County’s website ( www.oneida.wi.gov ). Fighting Bob LaFollette is famously quoted as saying, “The will of the people shall be the law of the land.” Stand up and be counted.
Tom Jerow, Rhinelander