Since time immemorial, the Penobscot and Maliseet have shared an inherent connection to the environment. We have a responsibility, passed down from our ancestors, to care for the land, water, air and all life that depends on a healthy ecosystem to thrive. 

We also share a mutual concern and opposition to the proposal by Wolfden Resources to develop a metal mine near Pickett Mountain in the Katahdin region. Metal mining is a dangerous and complex venture. Wolfden has neither the technical experience nor the money to do it properly. The Land Use Planning Commission should reject Wolfden’s proposal to rezone the company’s land to allow mining.  

The Katahdin region is no place for a mine.  

Penobscot and Maliseet people use areas that will be impacted by the proposed mine for sustenance practices, including fishing, hunting and gathering foods and medicines, and for cultural and ceremonial purposes.   

These waters and lands are precious resources for our tribal citizens and for all Maine people. They contain the headwaters of the West Branch of the Mattawamkeag River and other waters that contain critical habitat for endangered Atlantic salmon and excellent wild brook trout and landlocked salmon fisheries. Wolfden’s mine would be a heavy blow to our tribes’ efforts to restore and protect fisheries in Northern Maine.  

Wolfden has also showed blatant disrespect for our tribes. Wolfden’s CEO publicly stated in an investor video that the lack of “Indigenous rights in the state of Maine” is a factor that “really streamlines the permitting process.”


It is disrespectful and wrong to say there are no Indigenous rights in Maine. While we are actively working to restore full sovereignty that would give the tribes the self-determination necessary to care for our lands, the Wabanaki Nations have a very robust federal relationship with the U.S. government, especially around environmental protection.  

It is clear to us that Wolfden lacks the technical expertise to develop and operate a mine. Land Use Planning Commission staff recommended denying its first application for rezoning without even holding a hearing, which is very unusual, because the company made so many errors.  

Now Wolfden wants a second bite at the apple. It has filed another rezoning application after spending months asking surrounding towns to support the mine, making claims it will treat wastewater to be as clean as the natural groundwater and streams in the area. However, Wolfden has not provided an example of a single other comparable mine that has been able to do this. In fact, the rock that Wolfden plans to blast and mine is likely highly acid-generating when exposed to air and water, posing a major risk of acid mine drainage – a serious problem that has fouled the land and waters near numerous other mines, including in Maine.     

We cannot let an inexperienced mining company loose on our lands, with potentially devastating impacts on the land, air, water and wildlife. 

That is why we have intervened in Wolfden’s rezoning request before the Land Use Planning Commission. We will do everything we can to urge commissioners to reject Wolfden’s latest rezoning application. It is the moral and just thing to do for the tribes and to protect the woods, waters and wildlife of this special part of Maine. 

Wolfden is asking our tribal citizens and Maine people to take it at its word and trust it. We value the health of our natural resources and people too much to do so.  

We urge our tribal members, and all Maine people who care about the future of the Katahdin region, to testify in opposition to Wolfden’s rezoning application at the public comment sessions on Oct. 16 and 17 in Millinocket, scheduled by the Land Use Planning Commission as part of its review. 

Comments are no longer available on this story

filed under: