Several Parks are closed due to help Peregrine Falcon Breeding
The U.S. Forest Service has announced that several rock faces in western North Carolina will be closed to recreational activities such as rock climbing, rappelling, ice climbing, bouldering, hang gliding, slacklining and drone use through August 15, 2023.
The reason for the closure is to protect the rare peregrine falcons that nest in these rock faces. Peregrine falcons are monogamous birds that return to the same nesting sites each year. If they are disturbed or harassed, they may leave the site and not return until the next season. The North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission (NCWRC) is working to protect this endangered species and is being assisted by volunteers in monitoring the nesting sites. In 2022, 14 sites in western North Carolina were occupied by peregrine falcon pairs with a total of 15 offspring being successfully produced. Two additional sites were occupied by a single, unpaired bird. To protect these birds and their habitats, recreational activities mentioned beforehand are prohibited and overnight camping within posted areas is not allowed. Hikers may still traverse designated trails within the posted boundaries, but should not approach the listed rock faces. It is hoped that by closing the rock faces to recreational activities, the peregrine falcons will be allowed to nest in peace and the population of these majestic birds can be stabilized. For a complete list of closed sites visit goblueridge.net.
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