The state Senate Mining Committee has approved a bill that will close thousands of acres around a mining site in northern Wisconsin to hikers, hunters and other members of the public.
The 5-2 vote by the legislative committee will prohibit recreational use of about 3,500 acres around the Gogebic mining site in the Penokee Hills of northern Wisconsin. Supporters say the measure will protect mining company workers and government regulators from illegal actions by protestors. The company has hired armed guards to protect the site. Opponents say the proposed site restrictions are not needed. Today's vote clears the way for a full vote later in the state Senate.