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JTNP: Temp Wildlife Closure in The Outback
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By BRegan
From Joshua Tree, CA
Mar 28, 2014

Last week, a climber reported a pair of nesting Prairie Falcons on the Patagonia Pile in The Outback. The Park's Wildlife Biologist checked it out and sure enough the raptors are there and exhibiting behavior that indicates they have an egg. To give the burgeoning family some space, the Park has closed the immediate area to climbing and bouldering. Please respect these closures -- there are thousands of other climbs and problems to choose from. (see below for list of formations and boulders)

-Bernadette Regan
JT Climbing Ranger

P.S. Big thanks to the 71 volunteers who came out for the AAC's 3rd Annual Spring Cling.

Release Date: March 28, 2014
Contact: Jennie Kish Albrinck, 760-367-5520

Climbing and Bouldering Routes Temporarily Closed for Nesting Raptors
JOSHUA TREE NATIONAL PARK, Twentynine Palms, California –

Joshua Tree National Park interim superintendent Andrea Compton issued a Temporary Emergency Closure to protect nearby nesting raptors. The climbing routes affected by this closure include: Patagonia Pile-(East and West Faces), The Head, Labor Dome and Wall of Biblical Fallacies. Bouldering routes in the closure area include: Iron Door Cave, Voices, Tidal Wave, Tilt-O-Meter, Lizzy, Dino’s Egg, and Chuckwalla bouldering area. This climbing area is approximately 380m northwest from the Hidden Valley Campground Loop.

The Prairie Falcon pair is engaged in nest building behavior, and this area will remain closed until the nest has been abandoned to ensure the protection of the species for the duration of the nesting activities. The park does not anticipate the closure will last beyond June 30, 2014.

The authority granted for such a closure can be found in 36 CFR 1.5 (a) (1).





-NPS-

For more information see, www.nps.gov/jotr, or follow us on
Twitter @JoshuaTreeNP, and on Facebook at Joshua Tree NP


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By Alexis
From Joshua Tree, CA
Mar 30, 2014

Prairie falcons, or raptors? Is this a different pair than the ones that prompted the Slatanic/Rattlesnake Buttress area closure?


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By Locker
From Yucca Valley, CA
Mar 30, 2014
...

"Prairie falcons, or raptors?"



"rap·tor

/ˈraptər/

noun

noun: raptor; plural noun: raptors

1. a bird of prey, e.g., an eagle, hawk, falcon, or owl."


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By Alexis
From Joshua Tree, CA
Mar 30, 2014

"1. a bird of prey, e.g., an eagle, hawk, falcon, or owl."

Yeah, I read condor instead of raptor for some reason. But still, are there 2 closures (Rattlesnake Canyon, and Outback), or is this the same pair of birds of prey?! I heard the Indian Cove closure was prompted by golden eagle pair. Is this true? My neighbor saw one several days before the Rattlesnake Canyon closure.


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By Guy Keesee
From Moorpark, CA
Mar 31, 2014
Big Boulder, just a bit downhill from Temple of Kali. Alabama Hills, CA.

BS closure.....


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By Merritt King
From Long Beach, Ca
Mar 31, 2014
Jtree

BS Closure? I saw one of the falcons flying over and screeching...was very cool!


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By Guy Keesee
From Moorpark, CA
Mar 31, 2014
Big Boulder, just a bit downhill from Temple of Kali. Alabama Hills, CA.

Merritt.... yes cool indeed. I love wildlife and wild places, but please don't for one second think that by not going to the IDC, your helping these birds reproduce.

The Climbing Rangers, must did up some justification for their jobs. Hense you now see all these landscaping projects, studys and habitat protection. How did WE ever survive so long, without them?

All the real good stuff to see at JT has not been found by the TOOLs... otherwise they would have removed all by now.


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By Merritt King
From Long Beach, Ca
Mar 31, 2014
Jtree

I'm sure the closure is much more extravagant than it needs to be to really keep the birds safe / stress free etc. but why not just follow what the rangers say and climb / hike somewhere else? What do we lose from it?

  • Edit* I wont reply to this thread anymore as I understand its just for information on the closure only.


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By Guy Keesee
From Moorpark, CA
Mar 31, 2014
Big Boulder, just a bit downhill from Temple of Kali. Alabama Hills, CA.

Merritt King wrote:
but why not just follow what the rangers say and climb


Yes: why not? They DO know just what is BEST.


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By bob birch
From hemet ca
Apr 1, 2014

Why is the whole outback closed because of birds building there nest on Patagonia pile. I understand not letting people climb specifically on the rock with the nest, and most people out in nature enjoy it and don't want to disturb nature. But I gotta agree with Guy, BS to close all the outback because of the nest, I mean really me bouldering on chuckwalla is gonna disturb the birds. But because I hear things like this all it does is enforce my belief in knock the nest down and squish all the bugs before the government sees it and shuts it down.


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By RTM
Apr 2, 2014

Thanks for that update BRegan - a minor inconvenience considering the 7972 other available routes in the Park!


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By Fat Dad
From Los Angeles, CA
Apr 2, 2014

^^^
I agree RTM. Thanks for your comments. I have a hard time understanding the hand wringing that some show when the occasional closure shuts down what is always a pretty limited area. If you can accept the entire SW Face of the Captain being off limits for several months a year more or less every year, you can deal with the loss of Patagonia Pile.

For the others, way to be good steward and positive representative for your community. ;)


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By Choss Chasin'
From Torrance, CA
Apr 5, 2014
Black Mountain

Seriously, I don't get the anger over a single area closing.... A bunch of people trouncing about the outback scares off prey and stresses out the birds. When we went to the underground in early summer a few years back during the last cool weekend of the season we spotted a Golden eagle roosting with what seemed to be two babies. We were on our way out when we spotted it (as well as it spotting us). You could tell she was not happy to have us there as she hovered above us till we were well away from her nest. That time she spent watching us could have been spent better elsewhere. It is for reasons such as that, that a broad closure is completely deserved and appropriate.

I will say watching that monstrous eagle glide back and forth over us was amazing and frightening at the same time. Needless to say we moved quickly away from her nest.


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By David Pneuman
From Montrose, CO
Apr 6, 2014

Closing other formations to prevent stress to the birds is wrong. Closing the formation with the nest to prevent stress to the climbers is right.

Any raptor has numerous predators constantly trying to find a way to get those eggs / babies. Seeing a human every few weeks will hardly stress it out. More likely without human climbers in the area, the number of far more dangerous predators will probably increase.
.
A nesting raptor does not need our help. I dare the person who wants to squash them to try and touch one of the eggs. You'll soon find out what the word ' talon ' means.


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By Sean
From Oak Park, CA
Apr 7, 2014
Deep Throat, threading through the hole and thereby using the rock itself as the first pro.  Jan 2013.

Patagonia Pile and its immediately adjacent formations in the northern section of The Outback.
Patagonia Pile and its immediately adjacent formations in the northern section of The Outback.

Photo above shows the small section of The Outback where Patagonia Pile is located, and the immediately adjacent formations of The Heap, Labor Dome (obscured behind The Heap), and Wall of Biblical Fallacies, in relation to the nearby unaffected Hitman Rock to the west and Rollerball Formation to the east.

Rest of The Outback unaffected by the temporary closure: Steve Canyon, Watanobe Wall, Hot Tub, Cereal Cliff, Hitman Rock, Rollerball Formation, Anthrax Rock, Dutzi Rock, Dinosaur Rock, Rubble Rocks, Rock Hudson, Peyote Cracks, etc, as well as X-Factor Dome and Watts Tower to the north.


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By BRegan
From Joshua Tree, CA
Apr 11, 2014

Sean, thanks for posting the photo of the Outback.

Everyone else, FYI the recommended perimeter for protecting nesting prairie falcons is 400m in all directions. Had the wildlife biologists followed this recommendation the back loop of Hidden Valley Campground would have also been closed as well as all of the bouldering and more of the climbing formations in The Outback. The consensus was to use 180m radius instead to accommodate climbers.

Thanks to all who have given these raptors the space they need.

- bernadette


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By Guy Keesee
From Moorpark, CA
Apr 11, 2014
Big Boulder, just a bit downhill from Temple of Kali. Alabama Hills, CA.

BRegan wrote:
Sean, thanks for posting the photo of the Outback. Everyone else, FYI the recommended perimeter for protecting nesting prairie falcons is 400m in all directions. Had the wildlife biologists followed this recommendation the back loop of Hidden Valley Campground would have also been closed as well as all of the bouldering and more of the climbing formations in The Outback. The consensus was to use 180m radius instead to accommodate climbers. Thanks to all who have given these raptors the space they need. - bernadette



Why don't you follow the wildlife biologists recomendation?

If 400m in all directions is the distance to keep them safe and happy.

You want then to thrive don't you?


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By bob birch
From hemet ca
Jun 6, 2014

usfinancepost.com/congress-challenges-epa-over-eagle-death-w>>>
Totally forgot about this.


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By Locker
From Yucca Valley, CA
Jun 6, 2014
...

I have mixed feelings about the closures.



That said, I think this is DECENT of the park service.


"FYI the recommended perimeter for protecting nesting prairie falcons is 400m in all directions. Had the wildlife biologists followed this recommendation the back loop of Hidden Valley Campground would have also been closed as well as all of the bouldering and more of the climbing formations in The Outback. The consensus was to use 180m radius instead to accommodate climbers."


Seems they're trying to COMPROMISE.

I don't see it as a bad thing.


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By NickMartel
From Tucson, Arizona
Jun 6, 2014

I also have mixed feelings about raptor closures.

In the case of a temporary closure due to a pair of actively nesting raptors I am/would be supportive.

In the case of blanket closures of formations for set dates year after year regardless of actual raptor activity... Hell No!

If we could move more FS Ranger Districts from the 2ed option to the the 1st I would be inclined to report actual raptor nest sites to the FS and would support closures. For the record I do follow any closures I am aware of.


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