Dear editor,

Please help us preserve our state gem, Rib Mountain. Granite Peak Ski Corp. operates a ski resort on leased land at Rib Mountain State Park and is requesting to fully expand their ski hill operation, including new trails for mountain biking as well. In fact, the Wausau Chamber of Commerce funded a study to look at this expansion and the Wisconsin DNR is using the same to obtain feedback from the general public. On behalf of thousands of citizens locally and throughout the state, we oppose any change to the existing footprint of Granite Peak Ski Hill. 

It is very important to keep in mind that residents of all income levels rely on this park to connect with nature. Alpine skiing and mountain biking are expensive hobbies that are inaccessible to most middle and low income people. Hiking, snowshoeing, bird watching and nature observing, however, are accessible to all.  Please optimize the park use for everyone. 

The purpose of a state park, per the Wisconsin DNR, is to provide outdoor recreation and education on nature and conservation. They should not be primarily concerned with driving economic gains for the surrounding community or private entities. To further disrupt this natural environment with permanent changes to the landscape of Rib Mountain is reckless and irresponsible.

Nancy Anderson of Rib Mountain

Editor’s note: Wausau Pilot & Review gladly publishes commentary from readers, residents and candidates for local offices. The views of readers and columnists are independent of this newspaper and do not necessarily reflect the views of Wausau Pilot & Review. To submit, email or mail to 500 N. Third St., Suite 208-8, Wausau, Wis. 54403.