February 1 to bring closures to Granite Mountain and Thumb Butte
- Last weekend before climbing opportunities are restricted
- These restrictions will be implemented starting February 1
- This helps to provide an undisturbed setting and quality nexting habitat for Peregrine Falcons
- The closures will end July 15, 2023
- Read more...
Move over for the Peregrine Falcons
Prescott National Forest officials would like to give folks a heads up that they have one weekend for climbing opportunities before the Forest implements restrictions on climbing and other activities on the cliff faces of both Granite Mountain and Thumb Butte starting on Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2023. Both sites have been consistently occupied by peregrines annually for more than 24 years and likely for hundreds of years before. These annual closures provide the undisturbed setting and quality nesting habitat essential for peregrines to successfully raise their young.
The closures will begin Feb. 1, 2023, and last until July 15, 2023. For both locations, the closures will be the same as they have been for the last 24 years. On Granite Mountain, 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. 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. These area closures for the peregrine do not impact or close any system trails; Trails 33 at Thumb Butte and 261 in Granite Basin Recreation area willremain open for hiking.
Maps of the closed areas will be posted throughout both the Thumb Butte and Granite Basin Recreation Areas. 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 the peregrine nesting progress. Please send observations, photos, and information to the Prescott NF.
Peregrine falcons were once listed under the Endangered Species Act. They continue to be managed under the protection of the federal code of regulations as well as state and federal law. Managers consider the needs of the peregrines and the recreation desires of forest visitors and the values of Granite Mountain Wilderness to strike a balance where people and birds can effectively use the same space at different times for their respective purposes.
If you have any questions about the peregrines and their management, please feel free to call the Bradshaw Ranger District at 928-443-8000.
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