A 20-foot tall statue of the Virgin Mary is planned for Mount Shasta Ski Park. The platform for the statue is already being built at the top of the Douglas Lift. The statue is planned to be in place next summer.

It was a shared goal of Owner Robin Merlo and her late husband, Ray. In a post to the Mt. Shasta Ski Park’s social media, the park wrote, in part, “This statue is a promise fulfilled and a true representation of the dedication to family that we all value so much at the ski park.”

The park says the goal of the statue is not to focus on any one religion, but to acknowledge and honor the beauty and spiritual power of the mountain.

However, there are detractors. A petition was started on Sunday, Dec. 10, on change.org, asking the United States Forest Service to force the Merlos to stop work on the project, and asking the Merlos to donate their money to something to benefit the entire community instead.

“We ask the owners of Mount Shasta Ski Park to cease and desist this construction project immediately. We ask the US Forest Service, with whom the ski park holds use permits, to insist that Mount Shasta Ski Park discontinue this project. We suggest donating the money allocated for this project toward something that might actually benefit the community in a real way, such as a much needed homeless shelter or detox facility,” the petition says.
Petitioners say the large statue will take away from the natural beauty of the park and create an environment that’s not inclusive or respectful.

As of this report, the petition has 596 signatures with a goal of 1,000.