Area Closures Coming Soon to Granite Mountain and Thumb Butte Provides Seasonal Peregrine Falcon Nesting Habitat

Release Date: Jan 26, 2016  

Contact(s): Noel Fletcher: 928-443-8020


Folks have one weekend for climbing opportunities before the Prescott National Forest officials will implement restrictions on climbing and other activities on the cliff faces of both Granite Mountain and Thumb Butte on Monday, February 1, 2016. According to Arizona Game and Fish Department biologists, both peregrine nest sites were occupied last season. This nesting success indicates that these annual closures are providing the quality nesting habitat peregrines need to raise their young.

 

For Granite Mountain, the closure will be the same as it has been for the past twenty-one years.  It is prohibited to be upon any part of the Granite Mountain rock cliff face or the rim above the rock face and extending 100 feet back from the edge of the cliff face by rock climbing or any other means of access.  Trail 261 will remain open. 

 

On Thumb Butte, both the north and south climbing faces, the top of Thumb Butte, and the areas at the base of the climbing faces will be closed to entry.  Trail 33 will remain open for hiking.  For the past fourteen years, this closure has provided the protection peregrines need to produce young birds from their nest site on Thumb Butte. 

 

The closures will begin February 1st and last until July 15th. Maps of the closed areas will be posted throughout both the Thumb Butte and Granite Basin Recreation Area. The Prescott National Forest is asking local birders to share their field observations of peregrine falcons with our resource managers to provide a better picture of peregrine nesting progress. Please send inquiries and information to Noel Fletcher at nfletcher@fs.fed.us.

 

Peregrine falcons were once listed under the Endangered Species Act. They continue to be managed under the requirements of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act.  This law affords land managers the opportunity to provide peregrines the appropriate environment needed for successfully nesting and raising young birds.

 

If you have any questions about the peregrines and their management on Bradshaw District, please feel free to call Noel Fletcher (928) 443-8020. 

 

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https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/prescott/news-events/?cid=FSEPRD490070