Oneida County residents rejected a referendum question 7,129 to 11,927 on the election ballot Tuesday, asking if nonferrous metallic mining should be allowed in the town of Lynne.

The Oneida County Board  placed the nonbinding referendum question on the Nov. 6  ballot asking:

“After performing their due diligence, should Oneida County allow leasing of county-owned lands in the town of Lynne for the purpose of metallic mineral exploration, prospecting, bulk sampling and mining?”

Three Lakes voters rejected the plan 618 to 728, while Sugar Camp voters supported the plan by a slim margin, 505 to 500.

UW-Extension Oneida County and the independent, nonprofit Oneida County Economic Development Corp. collaborated at several public meetings in October to provide expert and research-based information on the impacts of mining.

The education initiative addressed nonferrous mineral mining processes; infrastructure im­pacts of mining at the Lynne site; environmental impacts of mining at the Lynne site; economic and community impacts, assessment and planning; and the mine permitting process.

Sen. Tom Tiffany (R-Hazelhurst) supported mining in northern Wisconsin, including the town of Lynne site, and  co-authored new mining reform legislation in the state.