Will creating more ski runs and mountain bike trails negatively impact the quality of the forests at Rib Mountain State Park.
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 by thin soils, steep slopes and over-browsing by deer. Opening spaces for ski runs and trails may increase forest sustainability by expanding edge habitat and allowing for deeper solar penetration into the forests.