Climbing routes closed for nesting falcons

The state Department of Environmental Conservation closed numerous Adirondack rock climbing routes Tuesday to protect peregrine falcon nest sites.

Rock climbing routes with active nest sites are closed every spring to prevent climbers from disturbing the birds and their young. Peregrine falcons are endangered in New York state.

“The closure of climbing routes is based on a number of factors, primarily the route’s proximity and visibility to a nesting site,” according to the DEC’s website. “Each situation is unique and a specific distance from the nest site can not be used to make a closure determination. DEC’s priority is protecting an endangered species; however, attempts are made to maximize the opportunities for climbing at the same time.”

The closures are all in Essex County. They include all routes on Moss Cliff near the West Branch of the AuSable River between Lake Placid and Wilmington, all routes on Upper and Lower Washbowl cliffs near Chapel Pond and most routes on the main face of Poke-o-Moonshine Mountain in Keeseville.

The routes usually reopen in July or August once the falcons have left the nesting sites.

Current route closure information will be posted at trailheads and online at www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/7870.html.

People with questions about peregrine falcons can contact the DEC Region 5 wildlife office at 518-897-1291.