The WSO Conservation Committee is urging members to say no to the proposed expansion of the Granite Peak Ski Area at Rib Mountain State Park. Located near Wausau, WI, Rib Mountain is home to nesting Acadian Flycatchers. This is one of the few sites in northern Wisconsin to host this state-threatened bird.
The Wisconsin DNR is currently accepting public input on the proposed expansion. Granite Peak–a privately owned ski resort–currently leases 450 acres of the park. They’re hoping to significantly expand their operations by leasing another 150 acres of public land to build ski runs, ski lifts, mountain bike trails, and parking lots.
This proposed development would destroy the habitat of Rib Mountain's nesting Acadian Flycatchers.
Other rare species and geological formations would be threatened as well. The dry-mesic forests and glaciere talus slopes of Rib Mountain are home to several plant species of special concern, including the butternut tree, Missouri rock-cress, and drooping sedge. The roosts of the federally and state-threatened Northern Long-eared Bat, and the state-threatened Big Brown Bat, are both protected by the park’s boundaries.
This globally rare habitat may be lost if Granite Peak’s proposed expansion goes forward.
The DNR is accepting public comment until July 14th on four alternatives for development of the park’s resources. The four alternatives are part of a needs assessment that was funded by the Greater Wausau Prosperity Partnership. Members may read the full assessment here.
Only Alternative One – the “no-change” alternative – will protect the Acadian Flycatcher and the other rare species that call Rib Mountain home.
The Conservation Committee urges all members to submit their votes for Alternative One – the “no-change” alternative – today. Help us stop the Granite Peak expansion at Rib Mountain State Park.