Gogebic Taconite Closes Public Access Near Mine Site
Left, a map of an iron mine site in near Ashland, Wis. The red area indicates the area Gogebic Taconite will close to the public. (dnr.wi.gov)
For the City-Times
Gogebic Taconite, LLC, with the consent of landowner RGGS Land & Minerals, temporarily closed the Managed Forest Law lands to public access at their site because the private roads on the MFL land are being used for mining-related activities.
The land closure includes a 600-foot strip on each side of each private road as required by public access conditions detailed in the recently approved legislation — Wisconsin Act 81.
The Department of Natural Resources has posted a map of the MFL lands now closed to the public within the Gogebic Taconite ferrous mining site. The map is available by searching the DNR website for “Gogebic” and clicking on the link for Gogebic Taconite mining project. That Web page also has a link for subscribing to receive email updates about the project.
Landowners with closed lands as a result of Act 81 are required to pay, in addition to their acreage share tax, an amount equal to 15 percent of the average statewide property tax per acre for lands that are not open to all of the outdoor recreational activities for any part of the previous calendar year.
DNR officials say the closure, however, still allows for public access to the closed lands by foot to fish and hunt under two specific conditions.
The public may access the closed lands by foot within 50 feet of a Class 1 or Class 2 trout stream for the purposes of fishing.
Also, the closed land will be open exclusively for deer hunting purposes during the nine-day gun-deer season. The nine-day gun-deer season begins on the Saturday immediately preceding the fourth Thursday in November.