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studying new properties.
Public lands
parks, forests, wildlife, fisheries, natural areas, trails, wild rivers and flowages.
Contact information
For information on the Rib Mountain State Park Master Plan Revision, contact:
John Pohlman
Planner
Bureau of Facilities and Lands
608-264-6263

Property Master PlansRib Mountain State Park Master Plan

The Department of Natural Resources is revising the 2005 master plan for Rib Mountain State Park. The planning process will evaluate the full range of public uses occurring at the park and habitat management opportunities. In addition, options for the future will be assessed, including possibly new recreation activities. The planning process will evaluate a potential expansion of the Granite Peak Ski Area.

Rib Mountain State Park Observation Tower

Photo courtesy of Greg Bouressa

Planning Update

The Department received over 2,000 comments during the initial public input period, which ran from January 22 to February 22, 2020. Staff are now reviewing all of the comments and will prepare a document summarizing the input and the central messages submitted by the public. The summary will be posted here in March.

The Department will then develop draft goals for the park and a set of preliminary alternatives to achieve these goals. To assist with this process, the Department will be contracting with experts in downhill skiing and mountain biking to better understand constraints and options for the future. The Department anticipates presenting the draft goals and preliminary alternatives to the public this summer.

Where we are in the process


Process Process Description Public Input Opportunity
Background information Staff gather and synthesize background information about the property and region to help inform planning decisions. Typical information sources include: existing plans and data, species and habitat inventories, surveys of visitors and their experiences, and input from local governments and partner groups. DNR staff summarize the background information in a series of documents for the public.
Initial public input

January 22 to February 22, 2020
A public open-house meeting will be held locally to present information about Rib Mountain State Park and the broader region. A focus of the meeting will be to gather public input about the park, the current and potential roles it plays or could play in the region, and issues to address in the planning process.
The public will be able to provide input in-person or online.
Yes
Develop draft goals and preliminary alternatives

Anticipated Summer 2020
Staff will use the existing master plan and the initial public input to develop draft goals and preliminary alternatives. The DNR may contract with experts to assist in developing preliminary alternatives for downhill skiing and potentially other recreation opportunities at the park.
Public input on draft goals and preliminary alternatives
Anticipated Summer 2020
Staff will hold another open-house meeting to present the draft goals and preliminary alternatives and gather public input and reactions.
The public will be able to view and comment on the draft goals and preliminary alternatives both in-person at the open house and online.
Yes
Develop Draft Master Plan
Anticipated Fall 2020
Staff will use the public input on the draft goals and alternatives, background information, discussions with partners, and the expertise of property managers, fish and wildlife biologists, foresters, recreation specialists and others to develop an initial Draft Master Plan revision.
Public input on Draft Master Plan
Anticipated Winter 2020
Staff will hold another open-house meeting to present the Draft Master Plan revision and gather public input and reactions.
The public will be able to view and comment on the draft goals and alternatives both in-person at the open house and online.
Yes
Develop Proposed Master Plan
Anticipated Winter 2020
Staff will modify the draft master plan as needed based on public input. This new version, referred to as the Proposed Master Plan, will be submitted to the Natural Resources Board (NRB) for their review and consideration.
Natural Resources Board
Anticipated Winter 2020
The DNR presents the Proposed Master Plan to the NRB and seeks their approval of the plan. The Proposed Master Plan will be posted on the NRB website approximately two weeks prior to the meeting at which it will be considered.
In their evaluation and consideration of the document, the NRB seeks public input at their meeting. Instructions to provide input to the NRB can be found here.
Yes

Background

A master plan for Rib Mountain State Park was completed in 2005. In February 2015, the Wisconsin Natural Resources Board authorized the Department to undertake a master plan amendment process for the purpose of evaluating a potential expansion to the Granite Peak Ski Area. Although Granite Peak Ski Corporation has publicly shared its vision for expanding the ski hill area, the Department believes that a potential expansion should be evaluated in the broader context of the entire park and other recreational opportunities. As a result, at their October 2019 meeting, the Board directed the Department to undertake a holistic evaluation of the full range of recreational and habitat opportunities at Rib Mountain to ensure that the park continues to help support the ecological, social, and economic needs of the area.

The Park

The State Park was established in 1927 and centered on what, at the time, was believed to be Wisconsin’s highest point - Rib Mountain. The park has grown in size and popularity over the years and now encompasses nearly 1,600 acres and receives over 400,000 visitors annually. Except for the ski area, most of the park’s public use areas and facilities are clustered on about 60 acres of the more level terrain at the mountain’s top, which provides spectacular views of the surrounding landscape.

The Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) constructed several facilities at the park in the 1930s, including the first downhill ski runs and tow ropes. Over the years, a succession of ski hill operators have partnered with the Department to provide downhill skiing at Rib Mountain. Today, Granite Peak Ski Corporation leases 405 acres of park lands that provide alpine skiing and snowboarding opportunities under the terms of a 30-year lease signed in 2000.

Additional Information About Rib Mountain State Park Planning

Documents
Public Involvement
Maps
Contact Information

For information on Rib Mountain State Park planning contact:

John Pohlman
Planner
john.pohlman@wisconsin.gov
608-264-6263

Last revised: Monday February 24 2020