Dear Editor,

On Nov. 25, 2019, Aquila Resources submitted a petition to abandon a section of River Road in Lake Township, Michigan. The petitioners, Menominee County residents, Debra and Kenneth Buchs, Christopher Hoskins, Travis and Jeffrey Anderson, Donald, Toni and Eric Kozlowski, Barry Hildred and Michael Welch of Aquila Resources request that approximately one mile of River Road along the proposed Back Forty Mine project site be abandoned so that they may expand their project closer to the Menominee River. They also learned that they do not own the mineral rights under this road. Mineral rights belong to Menominee County.

Removal of this road could possibly cut off quick access of vital services such as law enforcement, fire, rescue and EMS to local residents, landowners and visitors in this area.

Aquila also requested upgrades and reconstruction of County Road 358, County Road 577, Swanson Road and County Road 356 be made to accommodate trucking to and from the proposed mine. They are also planning to construct an access road to the proposed mine through state land from River Road to County Road 356.

As a resident, landowner and taxpayer of Menominee County, I oppose the abandonment of River Road and Aquila’s road upgrade requests. There are enough roads in Menominee County that need upgrading and maintenance first.

Menominee County has a resolution opposing sulfide mining, such as the proposed Aquila Back Forty mine project. I urge our county commissioners to stand firm in their commitment to protect the health and welfare of Menominee County residents and to oppose this road proposal or to sell out the mineral rights beneath River Road to Aquila.

A hearing to abandon River Road is scheduled for March 24 at the Menominee County Road Commission office. I am publicly requesting a change of venue and a time convenient for public participation, so that all those concerned can voice their opinions on this abandonment of River Road.

Please attend the upcoming hearing. Together we can protect the Menominee River and our beautiful area from toxic metallic sulfide mining.


Tina Lesperance

Menominee County