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Hearing set for proposal to close forest near mine

Published On: Aug 31 2013 08:05:17 PM CDT
MADISON, Wis. (AP) -

A public hearing will be held in coming days on a new bill that would close up to 4,000 acres of forest around an iron mine site just south of Lake Superior.

Gogebic Taconite wants to dig a 4 1/2-mile mine in the Penokee Hills. The bill by Sens. Glenn Grothman and Tom Tiffany would close the surrounding acres to recreational use.

The forest around the site is part of 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.

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.

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