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Throughout the year, the DNR has been working with the public on crafting new master plans for various outdoor recreation sites. Thanks to your advocacy and input, the Rib Mountain master plan has recently been finalized, and there is now a new opportunity to provide fresh input on the Central Sand Plains master plan. Please read on to find out more about each of these developments!

Central Sand Plains Master Plan – UPDATE

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is once again seeking public input during their master planning process for the Central Sand Plains region of the state. Some of the more popular properties that will be part of this master plan include: Devil’s Lake and Hartman Creek state parks; fishery areas along the Mecan, Pine, White and Willow rivers; Grand River Marsh, Germania, Lawrence Creek and White River Marsh wildlife areas; Observatory Hill, Parfrey’s Glen, and Gibraltar Rock natural areas; and portions of the Ice Age Trail. The DNR’s master planning process paves the way for priorities within DNR-owned lands for years to come. When master planning within DNR comes about, Bike Fed advocates for biking infrastructure, access, and safety to be included within the plans. 

The DNR has recently released a draft regarding the vision, goals, objectives and management alternatives for the DNR-managed lands in the Central Sand Hills. The department is seeking public input on this document from September 18 to November 2, 2023. The department will use this document and the public input on it to develop the draft master plan.

To view the Draft Vision, Goals, Objectives, and Management Alternatives, please follow this link.

Make your voice heard! 

We encourage you to submit comments letting the DNR that you want to see biking prioritized in the new Central Sand Plains region master plan. In addition to one more upcoming public meeting, the public is invited to submit comments by either filling out the online public input form or printing off and mailing in a short input form. The online form is designed so that each person can comment on the properties they choose.

Final in-person public input meeting: 

Tuesday October 3, 2023 from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m.
Waushara WWII Veterans Memorial Building
440 W. Main St.
Wautoma, WI

The links to each additional online form can be found below: 

Rib Mountain State Park Master Plan – APPROVED

Earlier this year, the Bike Fed asked the Wisconsin cycling network to provide input on numerous options for the revised Rib Mountain State Park Master Plan. Just this month, the DNR approved a new master plan for the state park – the first new plan for the recreation area since 2005! 

The approved master plan brings expanded downhill skiing, an expansion of the nature center, expansion of the mountain bike trail system, the potential return of camping, connections to 9 miles of county forest, and even rock climbing. The new master plan required close partnership between community members and organizations. The DNR Superintendent Bayli Christorf said that the DNR had discussions with the Central Wisconsin Outdoor Cycling Coalition (CWOCC), Greater Wausau Prosperity Partnership, Granite Peak ski area, the Village of Rib Mountain, and of course, Marathon County.

Thank you to ALL of our partners, advocates, and members of the cycling community who made this new master plan possible. We can’t wait to get out and try the new recreational opportunities as soon as they become available!