Bump to wonder what kind of permit process County Parks is going to develop to allow non-season access to Summit Rock in Sanborn County Park? Will it be so strict that no one will ever get to go there again?
Wait and see!
If those Peregrines don't seem to be able to nest and fledge at Summit, why don't they nest a 1/4 mile away at the Tower of Pain, which has a much better view down US 9 and is certainly more protected from predators than Summit? One of the arguments that SCV Audubon Society has put forth in their publication, The Avocet, in favor of keeping Summit closed is that there's no other place close by for them to nest. Not true! Another one they cite is that Summit is a good natural nesting site. With the high chick mortality rate, this obviously isn't true either. They're just lying to further their goal of a people-free Skyline 'nature preserve' or 'bird sanctuary' where there is no access without a docent-led tour guide tagging along.
As you can see, many of Shani Kleinhaus's main talking points are patent nonsense. Summit Rock is not a good natural breeding site for the Peregrines. As Professor White pointed out, Summit Rock is in fact a marginal breeding site with poor protection against predators.
Does Ms Kleinhaus have some difficulty balancing her role as a so-called "Environmental Advocate" with her duties as a member of the Santa Clara County Parks and Recreation Commission? It seems there is some implicit conflict of interest going on here!
The Access Fund notified me the other day that there is still no word as yet about a temporary closure of Summit Rock during the Peregrine nesting season or a permitting process for climbing there during the off-season. I think that Aesop put it best at the conclusion of his tale about the wolf and the lamb:
"The Tyrant will always find a pretext for his tyranny."
The conclusion is unavoidable: there is tremendous pressure being put on County Parks as well as State Parks to keep down the numbers of climbers climbing along Skyline Boulevard (CA 35). There also seems to be a thinly disguised vengeance motiff, a way of getting even for the increasing popularity of the sport in the region. There certainly isn't any valid scientific reason for fencing off Summit Rock and environs, except to create a kind of 'nature preserve' similar to the one at Castle Rock State Park. Fortunately for us, negotiations between the Access Fund and County Parks are still in progress.