May 26, 2010
Waterbury, Vt. –– Hiking Vermont’s hillsides is a great way to enjoy a warm spring day, but the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department recommends you check to see if the area you’re planning to hike or climb is open. Eleven cliff areas are currently closed to protect nesting peregrine falcons.
“Peregrine nesting activity has been observed at approximately 40 sites this spring,” said John Buck, Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department biologist. “But, we only closed the cliffs where there’s a chance of people disturbing the nesting birds.”
Cliff areas or portions of cliff areas currently closed include:
Bolton Notch (Bolton) – access to cliff closed
Bolton Quarry (Bolton) – portions of upper cliff closed to climbing
Deer Leap (Bristol) – cliff top closed
Fairlee Palisades (Fairlee) – cliff top closed
Hazens Notch (Lowell) – access to cliff closed
Marshfield Mt (Marshfield) – portions of cliff closed to climbing
Mt Horrid (Goshen) – Great Cliff Overlook closed
Nichols Ledge (Woodbury) – cliff top closed
Rattlesnake Pt (Salisbury) – cliff top closed
Smuggler’s Notch (Cambridge) – portion of Stowe side of notch is closed to climbing
Snake Mt (Addison) – southern cliff top closed
“The areas closed include the portions of the cliffs where the birds are nesting and the trails leading to the cliff tops or overlooks,” said Buck. “In many cases the lower portions of the trails are still open.”
The Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department partners with Audubon Vermont to monitor the sites throughout the nesting season. These sites will remain closed until August 1, but if a falcon pair doesn’t nest or if the nest is not successful, the sites will be reopened sooner.
According to Margaret Fowle of Audubon Vermont, thirty-five peregrine falcon pairs nested in Vermont during the 2009 season. Twenty-eight pairs were successful, with 64 young peregrines surviving to fledge from their nests.
“We appreciate the public’s support in respecting the cliff closures,” said Buck. It’s helping to ensure that peregrines remain part of Vermont’s landscape.”
Updated information on cliff closures is listed on the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department website: www.vtfishandwildlife.com or by calling 802-241-3700. You can report peregrine sightings by calling Vermont Fish and Wildlife or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Source: Department of Fish and Wildlife
Last Updated at: May 26, 2010 13:51:04