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Contact: Nancy Stimson, 307 467 5283
Devils Tower, WY – Superintendent Reed Robinson has updated a temporary closure of climbing routes on the west face and southwest shoulder of the Tower after monument staff observed prairie falcons with defensive nesting behavior near McCarthy West Face. Specific routes within the closure include Good Holds for Godzilla (# 135) through Blade City (#192) described in the Devils Tower National Monument Climbing Handbook. The edges of the Tower summit above these routes are also closed. Other popular routes temporarily closed include Mac West, El Matador, Mr. Clean, the Southwest Buttress,andRangers Are People Too. The routes are temporarily closed for the protection of prairie falcons and the protection of climbers against the defensive nesting birds.
"Climbing routes on the Tower's north and northwest shoulder are re-opened. These routes include Mac North, One Way Sunset, and Carol's Crack." said Superintendent Robinson. "The annual closure for nesting prairie falcons was established under the monument's 1995 Climbing Management Plan with authority from the Migratory Bird Treaty Act."
Temporary closures are necessary when prairie falcons are nesting. The presence of climbers on the Tower near or above falcon nests is distressing to the parent birds. The birds become extremely defensive by diving at climbers. Disturbance from climbing activities may force falcons to abandon eggs or chicks. The temporary closure is implemented not only for the protection of the birds, but also for the protection of climbers, as falcons are known to defensively dive at intruders as they attempt to guard their nests. Climbers are asked to report falcon behavior to a park ranger.
"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 of Law Enforcement. "Please check at the climbing office for a list of all temporarily closed routes."
To learn more about Devils Tower National Monument, contact 307-467-5283, visit us online at www.nps.gov/deto or www.facebook.com/Devils-Tower-National-Monument-Official-NPS-Site.