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Popular climbing area closed to protect nesting peregrine falcons

FWS Photo

Officials with the Coconino National Forest have announced the partial closure of a popular rock-climbing area near Flagstaff in order to protect a pair of nesting peregrine falcons.

Forest managers closed the southern portion of Peaks Crag this week to allow the birds to successfully fledge their young. Similar restrictions have been put in place in previous years.

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.

The current Forest Order allows access from Freidlein Prairie Road to the climbing area north of the peregrines’ nest site.

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.