Protecting Our Water and Wildlife Resources
in Shapleigh and Newfield
POWWR, 185 Hooper Rd., Shapleigh, ME 04076
Since 2005, Nestlé has been looking to mine water in our area. In 2006 & 2007, the multinational corporation received permission from the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife to sink 16 bore wells in the Vernon Walker Wildlife Management Area.
The towns of Shapleigh and Newfield share land in the Vernon Walker Wildlife Management Area, the boundary being the Little Ossipee River. The sand and gravel aquifer shared by both towns is prized by Nestlé for bottling as its Poland Spring brand. Nestlé’s initial interest was to sign a bulk water extraction contract with the State of Maine.
When the state offered a price too high for Nestlé, the corporation literally went across the street where the town of Shapleigh owns property above the coveted aquifer.
In Sept. 2008, the citizens of the town of Shapleigh voted overwhelmingly for a 180-day moratorium to protect their groundwater. The vote count was 204 for the moratorium and 38 against. The citizens of the town also voted NO to drilling and testing by Nestle on the town-owned parcel of land. The vote was 183 against Nestlé and 44 for allowing testing and drilling.
Feb. 28, 2009, Shapleigh residents made clear their demand to control large-scale water extraction in their community by enacting an ordinance entitled “Shapleigh Water Rights and Local Self-Government” by a vote of 114 to 66. See: Shapleigh closes tap for water companies.
On Mar. 14, 2009, Newfield residents enacted a similar ordinance by a vote of 228 to 146. See: Newfield Passes Ban On Large Scale Water Extraction.
- Complete Timeline Updated JULY 2009
NEWS and ARTICLES
- Community Bill of Rights – Rights of Nature and Ecosystems
Thomas Linzey on Democracy Now (7 min. video)
- Nestle wins Fryeburg case • Letter to the Editor
- State Bill LD-763 Withdrawn
- Why is a rights-based ordinance needed?
- Attorney Thomas Linzey on local rights ordinances (video)
- Nestle: Remove your test wells (letter to editor)
- Water (letter to editor)
- The Audacity of Democracy (letter to editor)
- Citizens Want Rights-based Water Ordinance (letter to editior)
- Hidden Cost of Poland Spring’s Bottling Operation (letter to editor)
- POWWR Press Release (January 27, 2009)
“If we do not have a democracy where we live, where on earth DO we have it?”
- Ad in Waterboro Reporter (January 13, 2009)
Join us in supporting our rights-based ordinance, to give us back the right to determine, ourselves – free of corporate decisions made far from our borders — what’s best for our valuable aquifer and for the undisturbed ecosystem upon which we and it depend, and expect to depend, far into the future.
- Ordinance Petition IS constitutional (letter to editor)
- Stick to the Tap! (letter to editor)
- Water Issues (letter to editor)
- Town Lawyer: “Petitioners’ Water Ordinance Illegal” (Jan. 1, 2009) A proposed ordinance that would stop Poland Spring or any corporation from extracting water in Shapleigh should not be included on the town meeting warrant in March, 2009, because portions are unconstitutional, according to the town attorney.
- Photos from Fall ’08 Tour of the Vernon Walker Mgmt. Area, Newfield
- Residents Vote to Stop Poland Spring (Sep. 20, 2008)
- Press Release (Sep. 12, 2008)
- “Massive-Scale Bottlers are on the Wrong Side of History”
- Ads and mailings (Aug. and Sep., 2008)
Vernon S. Walker Wildlife Management Area
- Nestlé Timeline Updated JULY 2009
- Photo Gallery
- Maine Deptartment of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife
- Land Deed, Oct. 1951