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Senate takes up Gogebic Taconite mine site protection compromise

MADISON, WI (WTAQ) - Wisconsin senators are expected to vote Tuesday on a compromise bill to protect workers at the proposed Gogebic Taconite iron ore mine in Ashland and Iron counties.

Originally, all 3,200 acres of the mining site would have been closed to public hunting and other recreation that's allowed because the site gets state tax breaks under the managed forest law. 

Senate Republican Rob Cowles of Green Bay has proposed a compromise which closes areas around mining equipment and roads at the site. The DNR could close other land if need be. 

Senate Republican Tom Tiffany of Hazelhurst first proposed the more extensive ban after a theft and vandalism incident at a Gogebic exploration site in June. 

A number of people said the original measure was too restrictive, saying it might have cut off lands where people had hunted for years.