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Bill Would Close Forest Around GTac Mine Site

Created: 08/30/2013 4:45 PM WDIO.com

MADISON, Wis. (AP) - Two Republican legislators have introduced a bill that would close down the forest around an iron mine site in Ashland and Iron Counties.

Gogebic Taconite wants to dig a 4½-mile mine in the Penokee Hills. The forest around the site is enrolled in the Department of Natural Resources' managed forest program, which ensures access for hiking, hunting, fishing, skiing and sightseeing. Protesters emerged from the forest earlier this summer and accosted mine workers.

Sens. Glenn Grothman and Tom Tiffany's bill would allow Gogebic Taconite to close up to 4,000 acres around the site to recreational use. Tiffany says the proposal is meant to help protect mine workers from more protesters.

The Senate's mining committee has scheduled a public hearing on the bill for Wednesday.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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