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Tuesday, February 4,2014

Annual BoCan eagle nesting closures announced

Boulder Ranger District names sites for climbing bans until July 31

By Elizabeth Miller
William H. Majoros, via Wikimedia Commons
Golden eagle

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.

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