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 editor@wausaupilotandreview.com or mail to 500 N. Third St., Suite 208-8, Wausau, Wis. 54403.

Dear editor,

In 2018, 5,000 signatures were collected to oppose the proposed Granite Peak ski hill expansion on Rib Mountain State Park.  Did someone not hear the voice of the people? 

Fast-forward to now, 2022, the DNR released the Rib Mountain State Park Master Plan Revision, allowing an additional 100 acres for the ski hill expansion.  

Rib Mountain, without a doubt, is one of Wisconsin’s most precious resources. It is a gem – a wonder – and it is right in our backyard. Rather than preserving and protecting the very fragile natural environment that exists on this land, perceived tourism profit and financial gain seem to be the driving force of this revision. For years our state parks have been neglected due to administration changes, budget, and staffing cuts.

Now, under the guise of recreational opportunities and “partners,” new ski runs, and bike trails will adorn the talus forests. Water pipes, cables, control shacks, light poles, snowmaking equipment, service roads, and unsightly lift tower structures will devastate this sacred place that depends on our stewardship to retain its beauty for generations to come.

The DNR’s justification to allow these partners to carve up our state park, permanently, is selfish and irresponsible. With over 50 trails, Granite Peak is not in short supply of ski runs. What there is not plenty of is the Acadian Flycatcher, the northern long eared bat, the butternut tree and drooping sedge, and the talus forest. The most popular hiking trails on Rib Mountain will be impacted too.  What is now free, accessible, and inclusive to all people will be shut down.  

Read and comment here https://dnr.wisconsin.gov/topic/fl/PropertyPlanning/RibMtn  Ecological assessment can be found on page 62 of the document.  Please, please Leave Rib Mountain Alone.

The glaciers could not take this land down. Please don’t let bulldozers do it.

Nancy M Anderson, Rib Mountain