Rib Mountain State Park
Property Master Plan
The department's proposed Rib Mountain State Park Master Plan revision was modified and subsequently approved by the Wisconsin Natural Resources Board (NRB) at the Board’s Dec. 14, 2022 meeting.
The proposed Rib Mountain State Park Master Plan revision and NRB’s modification are available below and on DNR's Rib Mountain State Park Master Plan webpage.
DNR Proposed Rib Mountain State Park Master Plan Revision [PDF]
NRB Modification to Proposed Rib Mountain State Park Master Plan Revision [PDF]
Department staff will now update the plan to include the modification and format the final approved Rib Mountain State Park Master Plan. When complete, the document will be posted to DNR’s Completed Property Master Plans webpage.
Questions regarding the Rib Mountain State Park Master Plan may be sent to Phil Rynish, DNR Property Planning Section Chief, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 608-977-0286. Questions regarding implementation of the master plan may be sent to Bayli Christorf, Park Supervisor, at email@example.com or 715-842-2522.
Where we are in the process
|Process||Process Description||Public Input Opportunity|
Staff gather and synthesize background information about the property and region to help inform planning decisions. Typical information sources include existing plans and data, species and habitat inventories, surveys of visitors and their experiences, and input from local governments and partner groups. DNR staff summarize the background information in a series of documents for the public.
|Initial Public Input
Jan. 22 to Feb. 22, 2020
|A public open-house meeting was held locally to present information about Rib Mountain State Park and the broader region. The focus of the meeting was to gather public input about the park, the current and potential roles it plays or could play in the region, and issues to address in the planning process.
The public was able to provide input in-person or online.
|Public Input On SE Group Report And Alternatives
June 14 to July 14, 2021
|The DNR sought public input on the SE Group report and particularly on the alternatives they developed for future recreational uses at the park. The alternatives focus on downhill skiing and mountain biking.||Yes|
|Develop Draft Goals And Options||The DNR developed an updated vision for the state park along with draft goals, objectives and future management options. The sources used included: the SE Group report, public input on that report, existing master plan, initial public input, species and natural community surveys, and staff expertise.|
|Public Input on the Draft Vision, Goals, Objectives and Management Options
June 1 to June 30, 2022
|The DNR presented the draft goals and options and gathers public input and reactions.||Yes|
|Assessment of climate change impacts on winter recreation||The DNR gathered and analyzed data on current and future climate trends and how climate change is projected to impact the future of winter recreation in Wisconsin. Particular emphasis was on downhill skiing at Rib Mountain.|
|Develop Draft Master Plan||Staff developed an initial Draft Master Plan using multiple information sources, including public input on the draft vision, goals, objectives and management options, background information, discussions with partners, and the expertise of property managers, fish and wildlife biologists, foresters, recreation specialists, climate scientists, and others.|
|Public Input On Draft Master Plan
Oct. 13 to Nov. 14, 2022
|Staff presented the Draft Master Plan and gathered public input and reactions.||Yes|
|Develop Proposed Master Plan||Staff modified the Draft Master Plan and developed the new version, referred to as the Proposed Master Plan. The Proposed Master Plan was submitted to the Natural Resources Board (NRB) for review and consideration.|
|Natural Resources Board||DNR presents the Proposed Master Plan to the NRB and seeks its approval of the plan at their December 14, 2022 meeting. The meeting will be held at the DNR Building in Madison (101 S Webster St). An agenda is posted on the NRB webpage.
The NRB welcomes public input. Citizens may testify at NRB meetings or submit written comments about the plan. Instructions to provide input to the NRB can be found on the Public Participation Guidelines webpage.
A master plan for Rib Mountain State Park was completed in 2005. In February 2015, the Wisconsin Natural Resources Board authorized the department to undertake a master plan amendment process for the purpose of evaluating a potential expansion to the Granite Peak Ski Area. Although Granite Peak Ski Corporation has publicly shared its vision for expanding the ski hill area, the department believes that a potential expansion should be evaluated in the broader context of the entire park and other recreational opportunities. As a result, at their October 2019 meeting, the Board directed the department to undertake a holistic evaluation of the full range of recreational and habitat opportunities at Rib Mountain to ensure that the park continues to help support the ecological, social, and economic needs of the area.
The State Park was established in 1927 and centered on what, at the time, was believed to be Wisconsin's highest point - Rib Mountain. The park has grown in size and popularity over the years and now encompasses nearly 1600 acres and receives over 400,000 visitors annually. Except for the ski area, most of the park's public use areas and facilities are clustered on about 60 acres of the more level terrain at the mountain's top, which provides spectacular views of the surrounding landscape.
The Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) constructed several facilities at the park in the 1930s, including the first downhill ski runs and tow ropes. Over the years, a succession of ski hill operators have partnered with the department to provide downhill skiing at Rib Mountain. Today, Granite Peak Ski Corporation leases 405 acres of park lands that provide alpine skiing and snowboarding opportunities under the terms of a 30-year lease signed in 2000.
Additional Information About Rib Mountain State Park Planning
- Rib Mountain State Park Draft Master Plan
- Additional Documents
- Draft Vision, Goals, Objectives and Management Options for Rib Mountain State Park
- Report developed by SE Group
- Rib Mountain State Park Master Plan (2005) [PDF]
- 2015 DNR request to the Natural Resources Board to amend the 2005 Master Plan [PDF]
- 2019 DNR request to the Natural Resources Board to end the amendment process [PDF]
- Rapid Ecological Assessment (2015) [PDF]
- Rapid Ecological Assessment (2020) [PDF]
- Doepke Park Land Use Agreement (2017) [PDF]
- Granite Peak Lease (2000) [PDF]
- Property and Regional Analysis [PDF]
- Public Involvement
The department sought public comments on the Rib Mountain State Park Draft Master Plan from Oct. 13 to Nov. 14, 2022. The draft plan describes future management of the park, potential outcomes, alternatives evaluated and public involvement.
Public input was received in multiple formats and is provided here. Staff reviewed all the comments and prepared a summary of the public input.
- Summary of public input on the Rib Mountain State Park Draft Master Plan [PDF]
- Online input form [XLSX]
- Emails [PDF]
- Letters [PDF]
- Paper comment forms [PDF]
The department sought public comments from June 1 to June 30, 2022 on the document Draft Vision, Goals, Objectives and Management Options for use in the development of a revised master plan.
The document describes a revised vision and new goals and objectives. In addition, the document identifies the department's preferred management options for a variety of recreation activities and management issues.
Just over 400 comments were submitted, all of which are posted here. DNR staff reviewed all the comments and prepared a summary of the public input.
- Summary of Input on Draft Vision, Goals, Objectives and Management Options [PDF]
- Online comments [XLSX]
- Emails [PDF]
- Letters [PDF]
- Hardcopy Forms [PDF]
The department sought public comments from June 14 to July 14, 2021, on a report developed by SE Group. The report evaluates existing and potential downhill skiing opportunities at RMSP. The report also provides an analysis of mountain biking needs and opportunities in the region, as well as alternatives for developing a network of trails at RMSP.
Just over 3,100 comments were submitted, all of which are posted here. DNR staff reviewed all the comments and prepared a summary of the public input.
Summary of Public Input on SE Group Report [PDF]
In January 2020, the department sought initial public ideas, perspectives and comments on the current and future recreational uses and habitat management actions at the property. Over 2,200 responses were received, all of which are posted here. DNR staff reviewed the comments and prepared a summary of the input and major themes.
Hard copy forms (these have been split into batches to reduce their size)
Batch 1 [PDF] Batch 4 [PDF] Batch 7 [PDF] Batch 2 [PDF] Batch 5 [PDF] Batch 8 [PDF] Batch 3 [PDF] Batch 6 [PDF] Batch 9 [PDF]
Public Involvement Plan (2019) [PDF]