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updated: 9/5/2013 7:05 AM

Wisconsin committee to vote on mine forest closure

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Associated Press

MADISON, Wis. -- A legislative committee is planning to vote on a bill that would close thousands of acres around a potential mine site in far northern Wisconsin.

The Senate mining committee is scheduled to vote on the proposal Thursday morning. Approval would clear the way for a full vote in the Senate.

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Sen. Tom Tiffany's bill would close about 3,500 acres around the site to public recreation. 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 4-mile long iron mine in the Penokee Hills just south of Lake Superior. The company has hired armed guards after a group of protesters emerged from the woods in June and accosted mine workers.

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