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Zion National Park closes cliffs for peregrine breeding season

Published February 17, 2012 10:01 am

Nesting time • Endangered birds make southwestern Utah park an annual stop.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Zion National Park officials have ordered the temporary closure of several climbing routes in order to protect nesting peregrine falcons.

Park spokesman David Eaker said Friday that the closures, beginning March 1 , will affect Angels Landing, Cable Mountain, portions of the Great White Throne and Isaac cliffs, and the Sentinel, Mountain of the Sun, North Twin Brother, Tunnel Wall, the East Temple, Mount Spry, the Streaked Wall, Mount Kinesava, and the Middle Fork of Taylor Creek sites.

All other cliffs in the park will remain open to climbing, Eaker said.

Park biologists will monitor the nesting activity of falcons in the park throughout the 2012 breeding season. Cliffs that end up not being used by nesting peregrines this year will be reopened, probably by late April or early May.

"Those cliffs being used this year will be monitored until the chicks fledge, usually in late July, and then will be reopened to climbing," Eaker added.

The park usually has a high concentration of the endangered birds which visit the region to breed each spring and summer.

For up-to-date information on the status of the closed cliffs, please check the Zion National Park website at http://www.nps.gov/zion/planyourvisit/climbing.htm.

remims@sltrib.com