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Contact: Nancy Stimson, 307 467 5283
Park Managers will temporarily close several climbing routes on the west face and southwest shoulder of Devils Tower to protect nesting peregrine falcon and prairie falcon beginning March 15. Over one hundred and fifty climbing routes remain open. The temporary closure, established under the 1995 Climbing Management Plan, with authority from the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, is an annual occurrence at Devils Tower.
The closure affects 20 routes on the Tower. A complete list of closed routes can be found on the park's web site, bulletin boards throughout the Monument, the Climber Registration Office and the Visitor Center.
"The closure is implemented not only to protect the birds, but also to protect climbers, as falcons are known to defensively dive in order to protect their nests," said Nancy Stimson, Information Officer. "The presence of climbers near or above falcon nests is distressing to parent birds, disturbance from climbing activities may force falcons to abandon eggs or chicks. Climbers are asked to report any defensive falcon behavior to a park ranger."
In 2014, a peregrine falcon pair nested on the west face, later in the summer two chicks successfully fledged from the nest.
"Failure to comply with the temporary closure may result in a fine and or 6 months in jail. All climbers must register at the climbing office before they begin their ascent," said Drew Gilmour, Chief Law Enforcement Officer.
To learn more about Devils Tower National Monument, contact 307-467-5283, visit us at www.nps.gov/deto or www.