Falco peregrinus

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Bilbo

Trad climber
Truckee
Topic Author's Original Post - Jun 7, 2006 - 01:32pm PT
As organizations attempt to close cliffs to climbing we should at least arm ourselves with facts.

Peregrines were taken off the endangered species list in 1999.

Peregrines are listed as a "stable" species by many organizations. They are also of "least concern" with many.

They usually use the same nest year after year, so any closure will likely occur every year as well.

http://www.peregrinefund.org/explore_raptors/falcons/peregrin.html

To keep the species "stable" it IS important to NOT disturb the nest. However, I feel some organizations are being to extreme in there "Protective" behaivor. Closing entire cliffs seems overkill for a species that is surviving just fine. I also feel that as these birds population increases, many OTHER areas will be CLOSED to climbing. Many areas in and around the Sierra's are only climbable April-OCT, closures April-July is a huge relative time frame. I know of many other popular areas that these birds nest on. I will not release the names as these might be closed as well.
We should be looking at SOLUTIONS, not entire area closures. It seems this is just another excuse to keep people out of areas. Look at Williamson! Perfect Example of what is to come...
http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.html?topic_id=202912&f=35&b=0
http://williamsonrock.org/
TradIsGood

Trad climber
Gunks end of country
Jun 7, 2006 - 02:15pm PT
For a couple of years "nesting" black vultures closed a section of the Gunks (for several months each summer).

Not endangered. Not even really a native species to the area.

Cost / benefit. Hard to figure this one out.

We really just do not know. I think Batso pointed that out WBITD.
atchafalaya

Trad climber
California
Jun 7, 2006 - 02:39pm PT
" It seems this is just another excuse to keep people out of areas." Yea, I think a good one. Why is it that everything needs to be open to climbers? There are only 45,000 other climbing areas on the Eastside, is area 13 that important?
Bilbo

Trad climber
Truckee
Topic Author's Reply - Jun 7, 2006 - 02:44pm PT
Its not about Clark Canyon, Its about the Trend....Whats next? What about closing El Cap ?
atchafalaya

Trad climber
California
Jun 7, 2006 - 02:50pm PT
what about closing El Cap? Its been done in the past, or portions of it. Would that be such a bad thing for a temp closure of part of el cap so peregrines/ravens/(insert species) could nest and reproduce? I dont have plans to climb el cap till fall, but if the route we were planning was closed then, big deal, theres others, right?
the Fet

Trad climber
MA>CA>TW>AK>back to CA
Jun 7, 2006 - 02:51pm PT
"closures April-July is a huge relative time frame."

Sound about 1/2 the time for Falcons and 1/2 for Climbers, is that so bad a compromise?

Of course overreaction sucks and is very lame (closures that don't help anything, closing entire areas for no good reason), but there are other places to climb when it's a legitimite closure.

It's their survival vs. our fun. Just a reminder to focus on the overreactions not legitmate closures.
steelmnkey

climber
Vision man...ya gotta have vision...
Jun 7, 2006 - 03:32pm PT
"closures April-July is a huge relative time frame."

Granite Mountain, in Prescott, Arizona is closed from Feb thru mid July because of falcons. From mid-July to sometime in September, it's usually too hot to climb there. The typical weather window after that is, say, mid-September to late November or early December, at which point the place gets too cold to climb (yes, years vary). Elevation is around 6500-7000 feet. So in a nutshell, we can climb there about two months of the year.

The cliff face is a half a mile wide. We could easily climb on the left (Swamp Slabs) and the right (everything past the Flying Buttress) and the birds probably couldn't care less, but they close the whole thing. It's even illegal to be within some hundred yards of the wall.

Gotta love them non-endangered taloned chickens.

I think it might just be cheaper to shoot that sum bit&h."
- The Last Boy Scout
atchafalaya

Trad climber
California
Jun 7, 2006 - 04:01pm PT
I lived and climbed in Prescott for approx five years, when G.Mtn is closed, there are so many other great places to climb. Sounds like the closure is overbroad, maybe something could be done to restrict to area where they nest?
Bilbo

Trad climber
Truckee
Topic Author's Reply - Jun 7, 2006 - 04:22pm PT
What about man-made nests to keep them away from the routes we love? Rostrum? I've seen these for Ospreys in Baja,Mexico, those birds are like pests down there, they tear down peoples roofs and build nests out of them, they didn't shoot them all, they built nest platforms on tall poles, they were all occupied when we were there.
We can co-exist.....
Toker Villain

Big Wall climber
Toquerville, Utah
Jun 7, 2006 - 05:50pm PT
I'm with Dildo on this.

In Snow Canyon State Park there's a cool little side canyon with some 5 star climbs that is closed like 10 months a year to "protect endangered species" without naming any species in particular!
How's THAT for a "trend"?
healyje

Trad climber
Portland, Oregon
Jun 7, 2006 - 06:15pm PT
Isn't it easy being environmentally aware and concerned when you have nothing on the table. Everyone's suddenly concerned about the environment when it comes to pollution, a boulder field in AZ, or someone industrially or commercially impuning on their little sandbox, but god forbid a falcon should take a liking some corner of it and they then personally have something on the table. F#cking whiners and hypocrites...

Peregrines are one of the most bad ass creatures on earth - and if we as climbers can't accomodate them that makes us pretty much the lamest creatures on earth...
dirtbag

climber
Jun 7, 2006 - 06:19pm PT
Amen, healyje.
Toker Villain

Big Wall climber
Toquerville, Utah
Jun 7, 2006 - 07:02pm PT
Healy,
I agree they're badass. They must see us inching our way up and stuck to rock and think "What slugs!"
"We dun need no steenkin' falcon closures!"
"We baaad!"
"My baby chickies pee on you from a considerable height!"

(Did I mention these were a highly ethnic falcon subspecies, peregrinus montypythus?)
bachar

Trad climber
Mammoth Lakes, CA
Jun 7, 2006 - 10:44pm PT
"Peregrine populations were once endangered due to pesticides like DDT. DDT caused the female to lay thin-shelled eggs that were easily broken, killing the developing embryo inside." -from www.peregrinefund.org

I tend to agree with Bilbo on this one - we should be looking for solutions. Closures of entire areas seem a bit extreme in my opinion (which I'm willing to change when presented with facts). DDT was a threat to the peregrines (and other species), but is no longer. How exactly are climbers affecting these birds? Who gets to say who can or cannot climb in certain area and for what reason? If I can't climb in a certain area, I would like to know why. If "their" reason for closure seems bogus, then I will decide for myself what I will do. These are public lands - they "belong" to everybody. If indeed my presence at a certain crag is harming the peregrines, then I will not go there. So far I have not heard any facts that prove climbers are harming the birds.
peace, jb
Hummerchine

climber
Wenatchee, WA
Jun 7, 2006 - 11:39pm PT
Personally, I think bird closures are not only completely ridiculous, but one of the biggest threats to climbing access. Carried to the logical extreme, ALL climbing areas will be closed ALWAYS. There are countless species that exist on the cliffs that we climb, and I'm sure there are those that feel that climbers threaten them all and that all areas should be closed to climbing. I do not believe that climbers pose a threat to any species. Therefore, I do not believe that any areas should be closed to climbing for any species. Period. If it can be proven that rock climbers are actually a real threat to any species, there may at least be an argument here. Until then (which, like I said, I do not believe will ever happen) ALL climbing closures should be lifted.

Just to drone on a bit more on this, I live in central Washington. Midnight rock has been closed every year for a few years now, I fear this has already become a permanent closure. I have stood next to the Peregrine nest that has caused this closure (before the closure came into existence). Birds have nested up there for eternity, people have been climbing up there for decades and the birds have managed to survive just fine. Jeez, if they were that dicey they would have become extinct eons ago. Like someone had mentioned about another area, so now Midnight Rock is closed from winter until July, when it is way too hot to climb there. So you get a few weeks in September to climb some of the finest climbs in the state, including THE finest climb...ROTC. Then it's too cold. We really don't have all that much climbing in Washington, this hurts a LOT. Plus, Tumwater Canyon has about a zillion cliffs for the birds to nest on, yet they close the cliff that is actually good and accessible.

I'm a sponser of the Access Fund, and think that they totally rule. But I also believe that they should be fighting these bird closures rather than accepting them.

Sorry for the venting, I feel pretty strongly about this. Hope my opinion helps.
Toker Villain

Big Wall climber
Toquerville, Utah
Jun 8, 2006 - 12:10am PT
Got to agree with you Hummer.

The AF has historically been too willing to accept unreasonable restrictions just to appear moderate and conciliatory.
bachar

Trad climber
Mammoth Lakes, CA
Jun 8, 2006 - 12:25am PT
Hummerchine - well put and I must say I agree with you. As far as I can discern, these restrictions are not based on any solid evidence. I'm for bird's rights just as much as the other guy but just how are we harming these birds? The peregrines may actually like climbers for all we know!

Just some food for thought...peace, jb
10b4me

Trad climber
Poserville
Jun 8, 2006 - 12:56am PT
climbers can sure be selfish. . . .sometimes
E.C. Joe

climber
Lafayette
Jun 8, 2006 - 01:28am PT
The normal protocol can be to close a whole cliff. The thought is to err on the side of the birds. However, if you selfish Hobbits would get off of your ass and partner with the Feds, perhaps you could better define the closure areas. That is what I have done in the Southern Sierra for sometime now. So, the closure is total at first, until a credible survey is done about the whereabouts and activity (feeding areas, airee, hang-outs). Then, perhaps it can be better defined, legally. It has worked down there, why not in the Valley? One thing you need to ask yourself, however, "Is my mind that small, that I cannot realize that there are plenty of other climbs to do?"
Wayno

Big Wall climber
Seattle, WA
Jun 8, 2006 - 01:50am PT
That makes sense. It seems that with all the people on the Captain these days, climbers could be a good source of info.
I remember being way up on Mescalito back in the mid eighties and watching the peregrines soar below us. They came out every day and came pretty close to us. They seemed curious. It was quite a sight to watch them catch prey. It seemed to us they came from somewhere near El Cap Tree. There was also some goofball wailing on a sax in the meadows as we humped our loads at night. That would scare the Birds. I wonder who that was?
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