The Oneida County Board of Supervisors has defeated a resolution to eliminate a Mining Oversight Committee. In August, the board voted to end the pursuit of mining at a deposit in the town of Lynne. Emotions ran strong in public comment portions leading to the vote Tuesday night.
Mining opponent Karl Fate felt keeping the committee was a subtle attempt to keep the door open to mining, even after the vote in August. “If this issue were to come up again in any form, it would be a mistake to have the current language on the books,” he said. “The current language concentrates too much power, and too much decision-making, in the hands of too few.”
Former Lac du Flambeau tribal vice-president member Dee Ann Allen told supervisors where the tribe stands, with regard to mining. “Just keep in mind, our message was very clear. Our tribe will not stand down, to the mining issue or any other issue affecting our ceded territory,” Allen said.
Supervisor Tom Rudolph said not having a mining committee would be a mistake. “Supporting this resolution does not mean that we’re turning down mining altogether,” said Rudoph. “This resolution has nothing to do with whether we’re going to be mining or not.”
The board split 9-9 with three members absent. That tie vote meant the resolution to eliminate the committee was defeated.