MADISON, Wis. (AP) – Gov. Scott Walker has signed a bill that would restrict public access to a potential iron mine site in northern Wisconsin.
Gogebic Taconite is looking to dig a 4½-mile long open-pit mine in the Penokee Hills east of Mellen. About 3,500 acres around the site in the Penokee Hills east of Mellen is open to the public through the state’s managed forest program. The company fears protesters are taking advantage of that access to harass mine workers as they conduct mineral sampling and other tests.
The Republican bill creates 600-foot restricted zones around mining equipment and roads at the site.
Walker’s office released a statement Thursday saying the governor had signed the measure. The statement said the bill focuses on the health and safety of site visitors and mine workers.