Protesters to gather on Sunday at the proposed mine site in Wis.

By KBJR News 1

February 14, 2014 Updated Feb 14, 2014 at 10:39 PM CST

Mellen, Wis. (NNCNOW.com) -- As Gogebic Taconite prepares to begin bulk sampling at a proposed iron ore mine site in Northwest Wisconsin, people who oppose the mine are gearing up to protest.

On Sunday, Feb. 16, people will gather at two locations along highway 77 for a peaceful demonstration.

Organizers want to bring awareness to issues surrounding the proposed mine.

Anyone not respecting the peaceful march will be asked to leave.

Some, however, are planning on pushing the 600 foot boundaries around sampling sites.

"We want to remember that it's a civil citation, it's not a criminal offense to go into those lands. It's a DNR closure with a fine up to $200 and there are some people who would like to get a citation in order to challenge that law in courts," said Paul DeMain, Spokesperson for the Harvest Education Learning Project (HELP).

Wisconsin law makers passed a law allowing the company to close Public Managed Forest Land around their sampling sites.

Under the law, people need to stay 600 feet from the company's sampling activities.

Bob Seitz, Director of External Affairs for G-Tac, says the barriers are set up to ensure the safety of their workers and the public.

"These are industrial type vehicles, very large equipment operating and it's not something that you want the public mixing with this type of equipment," said Seitz.

DeMain says besides protesting the mine, the goal of the march is to bring attention to the Iron County Board elections coming up in April.

"For the first time, all 15 members of the county supervisors have previously run unopposed," said DeMain. "There is something like, 10 challenges on the board of supervisors."

Until there is a change on the board, DeMain says they will continue to challenge Gogebic Taconite, and their sampling activities.

Posted to the web by Kati Anderson.
kanderson@kbjr.com