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Rib Mountain State Park master planning process begins

Open house meeting Sept. 11 in Wausau

RIB MOUNTAIN, Wis. - An open house to begin developing a revised master plan for Rib Mountain State Park will be held from 4 to 7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 11 in the Pinery Meeting Room of the Park Inn, 2101 N. Mountain Road, Wausau. Anyone with an interest in Rib Mountain State Park is invited to attend.

The meeting will give the public an opportunity to provide input on issues that they feel should be addressed in the revised master plan. People attending the open house will also be asked to provide input on a Vision Statement and a set of Property Goals that Department of Natural Resources officials will use to guide writing the revised master plan.

When completed and approved by the state Natural Resources Board, the revised park master plan will guide management decisions for the Rib Mountain State Park over the next 15 to 20 years, according to Bill Bursaw, Rib Mountain State Park property manager.

“Master plans provide clear statements of the desired future condition of state properties. The revised plan for Rib Mountain State Park will provide neighbors and visitors with a clear understanding of future management, along with any new facilities or improvements to existing facilities and operations and maintenance,” Bursaw said.

The Rib Mountain State Park includes approximately 1,500 acres of state park land in the Town of Rib Mountain, Marathon County. Officially dedicated as a State Park in 1934, the property, excluding the ski area, serves more than 130,000 visitors annually.

The current master plan for the park was completed in 1982. A plan revision means that the management goals and objectives approved for the current master plan may change. Revisions to master plans are required when land additions to a property exceed 160 acres, which is the case at Rib Mountain after the state purchased 257 acres of land from the 3M Corporation in 2001. DNR staff anticipate it will take about a year to complete the master plan revision.

Some elements within the park boundary will not be part of this planning process. For example, 406 acres of the park are within the leased area of the ski hill. That portion of the park will not be a part of the master plan review. Similarly, approximately 16 acres at the top of the hill are taken up by leases for communications towers and associated buildings. Those leased areas will also not be a part of the new master plan.

Department staff will also prepare an environmental assessment (EA) document for the park to evaluate any impacts that would result from any significant changes in the property’s management, as required by state statute.

The DNR is currently developing a mailing list of those who would like to be involved into the process of the master plan’s revision. Those interested in being included on the project mailing list may contact Bill Bursaw at his park office.

Bursaw said there will be numerous opportunities for the public to become involved in the master planning process that will be announced through mailings, news releases, public meetings, and on the Internet. Individuals with access to the Internet will find more information on the master planning process for the Rib Mountain State Park on the DNR Web site.

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Bill Bursaw, Rib Mountain State Park - (715) 842-2522




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