Bill to close forest around mine passes WI committee

Sep 5, 2013

MADISON, WI (AP)--   A legislative committee has approved a Republican bill that would close thousands of acres around a potential mine site in far northern Wisconsin. 

The Senate mining committee approved the bill on a 5-2 vote Thursday morning. The vote clears the way for a full vote in the Senate.  GOP leaders say the bill could come before the body this month.

The measure would close about 3,500 acres around the site to public recreation.

The proposal's author, Senator Tom Tiffany, says the measure is designed to protect mine workers and government regulators from bands of protesters roaming the woods.

Gogebic Taconite is looking to dig a 4½-mile long iron mine in the Penokee Hills near Lake Superior. The company has hired armed guards to protect the site.