To keep golden eagles happily in their nests this spring, the Boulder Ranger District of Arapaho and Roosevelt National Forests
has closed some crags in Boulder Canyon, on Highway 119. Security Risk Crag,
Eagle Rock, Blob Rock and Bitty Buttress will be closed from Feb. 1 until July
31, while the neighboring crags, Happy Hour, Bihedral and Riviera, will remain
open for climbing, though rangers ask climbers to steer of closed areas.
The canyon is long-established nesting territory for golden
eagles, who rely on undisturbed access to potential nest sites particularly
during nesting season, when, like so many other couples, a part of the
courtship process includes choosing a nest site. Golden eagle couples, however,
are spared the requisite trips to Goodwill and Ikea to hunt for furnishings.
“Closures in BoulderCanyon are vitally important to protect one of only a handful of known golden eagle nesting territories in Boulder County. Their specific habitat needs limit what areas they can use for mating and fledging their young,” Sylvia Clark, with the Boulder District Ranger, said
in a press release from the Forest Service.
Federal and State laws prohibit disturbing nesting birds of
prey, and the area will be monitored by Forest Service staff and volunteers.
Closure updates for areas throughout Arapaho and Roosevelt National Forests can be found at http://www.fs.usda.gov/recmain/arp/recreation and a map of the closed areas in Boulder Canyon is available here.