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Will creating more ski runs and mountain bike trails negatively impact the quality of the forests at Rib Mountain State Park.

Nov 16 2021

No. While there are several isolated stands of second-growth northern mesic hardwood communities atop Rib Mountain State Park, much of the landscape, including the north face, is covered with trees with lower lifespans. Many of these species struggle to survive due to vulnerability to insects and diseases, with normal regeneration of many tree species limited […]

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Have potential impacts to the environment been studied in relation to the SE Group proposed recreational alternatives?

Nov 16 2021

Yes. All four alternatives have been reviewed for environmental impacts. While each alternative has a larger footprint than the former, the design layouts suggested by the SE Group are carefully inserted on the landscape to allow for minimal impact. Work will continue with the Wisconsin DNR on preserving Areas of Highest Ecological Concern.

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Can the Greater Wausau area truly become the “Outdoor Recreation Mecca of the Midwest”?

Nov 16 2021

The goal is attainable due to Wausau’s location and the existing base of premier recreational activities already in place in the area. If Option Four were approved, the area can become an IMBA Mountain Bike Ride Center, drawing thousands of enthusiasts from around the country. The expansion of Granite Peak will amplify its status as […]

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Why the emphasis on non-winter activities at the park and Granite Peak Ski Area?

Nov 16 2021

Over the last 90 years, non-winter use of the ski lands at Rib Mountain State Park has amounted to only occasional events and some hiking. However, with its high vertical terrain, the landscape at the ski area can provide for exceptional experiences not found elsewhere in the state. These could include flow and gravity mountain […]

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How long will it take to complete recreational improvements?

Nov 16 2021

If Option Four is chosen as the preferred course, the majority of proposed improvements will be completed in four to six years, with the remainder being built out within a 10-year timeframe.

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Who will pay for the new recreational features at Rib Mountain State Park?

Nov 16 2021

Granite Peak Ski Area would pay for leased land for new ski terrain, base facilities, lifts and proposed summer activities like zip lines, mountain coaster and challenge courses. Sponsors and donations would generally pay for mountain bike trails. The Wisconsin DNR is not expected to have any costs associated with recreational expansion.

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Will there be a loss of any existing recreation at Rib Mountain State Park due to an expansion of recreation?

Nov 16 2021

No. The existing “top of the mountain features,” such as the amphitheater, day use areas, tower, Friends shelter and parking lots will be untouched. Hiking trails off the top will also continue to exist and be open to use. The quarry area will be untouched. The only alterations described in the SE assessment are the […]

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Will climate change adversely affect Granite Peak’s ability to operate a viable ski area in its present status?

Nov 16 2021

Yes. As noted in Mountain Recreation Needs Assessment — part of the SE Group’s Climate Change Assessment — there will be an expected reduction in the viable length of ski seasons in the Midwest. Granite Peak’s operating season may shrink from five months to three. Since the Greater Wausau area wishes to grow current annual […]

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What are the primary reasons that Granite Peak Ski Area is considering an expansion?

Nov 16 2021

Granite Peak has a need to expand and modernize ski and year-round resort infrastructure to maintain viability in the mid-west ski market in terms of both guest expectations and adaptations to climate change. Nationwide there has been a decades long closure of ski areas while ski populations continue to be stable. A complete ski area […]

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Is the expansion of recreational opportunities at Rib Mountain State Park a new concept?

Nov 16 2021

No. Mountain biking enthusiasts have been requesting mountain bike trails at Rib Mountain State Park since 2006. Granite Peak Ski Area has been discussing potential expansion for alpine skiing with the DNR since 2014.

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