Adirondack Rock Climbing Route Closures
Peregrine falcons, an endangered species in New York State, nest on cliffs in the Adirondack Mountains. The population of peregrine falcons has steadily grown since the DEC undertook hacking programs in the Adirondacks in the late 1970s.
Cliffs with known peregrine falcon nesting sites are monitored annually throughout the Adirondacks. Rock climbing routes with active nest sites are temporarily closed to prevent any disturbances that might interfere with the successful raising of the young peregrine falcons.
The closure of climbing routes is based on a number of factors, primarily the route's proximity and visibility to a nesting site. 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.
At the beginning of the season DEC closes whole or large portions of cliffs where peregrine falcons have regularly nested. This allows them to choose a nesting site without any being troubled by climbing activity. They often choose a site quickly and begin nesting earlier, than when the cliff's were subject to climbing activities. Climbers benefit because an earlier nesting start results in an earlier fledging of the young and therefore the closed routes are re-opened sooner.
2016 Peregrine Falcon Monitoring Summary for Adirondack and Lake Champlain Region
DEC staff and volunteers monitored 26 peregrine falcon nesting sites located throughout the Adirondack Mountains and along Lake Champlain during the 2016 breeding season.
Of the 26 monitored eyrie (nesting) sites, 17 were confirmed to be occupied by territorial pairs - all of these were confirmed to be active eyries. At two of the 26 sites, Cascade Lakes and Eagle Mountain, only a single territorial bird was ever seen. Of the 17 confirmed active eyries, 14 were successful, producing 27 chicks for a total of 1.59 young/breeding pair and 1.93 young/successful pair. This represents an average level of production for this region, however 2016 was much more successful than the 2015 breeding season.
Monitoring reports for the Adirondack, Lake Champlain, and Lake George region are included in the full report (PDF 344 KB).
DEC wishes to thank the climbing community for avoiding peregrine falcon nests during the nesting season. DEC is very appreciative the climbers who volunteer to monitor eyries and those who report territorial or nesting activity.
More about Adirondack Rock Climbing Route Closures:
- Peregrine Falcons and the Adirondack Rock Climber - Facts about Peregrine Falcons and how rock climbers can help to ensure their successful return to the Adirondacks