Sedona News – Coconino National Forest officials have implemented restrictions on climbing and other activities on a portion of the cliff face of an area known as the Peaks Crag in order to protect nesting peregrine falcons.
Similar restrictions have been in effect over the last several years allowing the nesting peregrine falcon pair to successfully fledge one to three young each season, while still affording recreational climbing opportunities in the vicinity. The current Forest Order allows access from Forest Road 522 (Freidlein Prairie Road) to the climbing area north of the peregrines’ nest site.
The Forest Service, with the help of volunteers, will monitor the effectiveness of the closure and peregrine nesting success to guide future management of the area. The closure could remain in effect until August 15, but may be lifted once young are determined to have fledged, which may be as early as mid-July.
It is prohibited to be within the southern portion of the Peaks Crag cliff face for rock climbing or any other activity. Maps of the closed areas will be posted at the kiosk on Forest Road 522 and under the Forest Orders web page.
Peregrine falcons were once listed under the Endangered Species Act. They continue to be managed as Forest Service Sensitive Species and State Species of Concern. This closure affords land managers the opportunity to assess the effectiveness of a partial closure and better determine the appropriate environment needed for peregrines to successfully nest and raise their young.
Questions about the peregrines and their management can be directed to Wildlife Biologist Amyann Madara (928) 527-8247 or firstname.lastname@example.org.