Discussion in 'PA / VA' started by K2jet, Feb 14, 2016.

  1. K2jet

    K2jet Member

    Regarding the Narrows closing;
    I am not familiar with the nesting habits of Falcons and other endangered species.
    For the past several years I've only seen crows or Ravens, buzzards up in the gullies.
    Does anyone have proof there are nesting areas up there ?
    Is it a little early to be nest building ?
    I'm skeptical.
    Any newspapers interested ?
    Where's the access fund ?
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2016
  2. Steve Jones

    Steve Jones Member

    Three falcons have been seen in the area this year. Both climbers and park employees have seen them. The rangers go by twice a day. A pair nested there last year and it appears they have returned this year along with one of their fledglings. The Access fund and locals are reported to be in contact with the park over the closures and are working on the details for the future.
    Andrew P likes this.
  3. K2jet

    K2jet Member

    Thanks for the update...

    TRAVIS Member

    What is the good word for 2016-17 season?
  5. Crag

    Crag Member

    From the good folks at the Dolyestown Rock Gym

    NOCKAMIXON CLIFFS UPDATE: Erik Murdock, Policy Director for the Access Fund, will be in our area in early December and has agreed to assist with a meeting with the park service to explore the closure. The purpose of the meeting is to understand the activity of the peregrine pair and if an acceptable alternative to the previous closure is possible. It will also be a goal of the meeting to educate park and game officials (if present) regarding successful raptor closures in climbing areas.

    This is, hopefully, the first step toward modifying the closure if an alternative does exist. At this time, this is not a public meeting. However, I wanted to post an update as folks have asked throughout the year. It has taken us about 6 months of dialogue to get to this meeting. The best thing you can do right now is support the Access Fund if you do not do so already....great holiday present!

    TRAVIS Member

    Thank you for your effort and everyone involved along with the Access Fund.
  7. Crag

    Crag Member

    Point of clarification - it is the fine people at Doylestown Rock gym (Dave) that have spearhead this effort. I had nothing to do with it other than passing along the info. Always support the Access Fund!
  8. Tim Anderson

    Tim Anderson New Member

    So to clarify, all of last years restrictions are still in place?
  9. Spence

    Spence New Member

    Any suggestions on alternative locations to climb?

  10. TRAVIS

    TRAVIS Member

    The closest things to gully climbs in Pa would be Lock Haven. Checkout Gemini Gully, Hidden Amphitheater, and Roadside
    Gully. Depending on where you live the Catskills might be closer.
  11. Spence

    Spence New Member

    My climber partner just update me with the following.

    Question - does anyone no what the specific closed areas are? Is it the entire cliff band?

    NOCKAMIXON CLIFFS UPDATE: Yesterday David Pastorok, Erik Murdock (Access Fund) and I met with several representatives from DCNR and the Game Commission to discuss the closure. A lot of information was shared about the raptor pair, raptor management from the PGC and different strategies that exist in the climbing community. While we were confident that we could present an option to shrink the closure area and potentially open more climbing area, the PGCs feels that behavior of this pair requires more space and less potential inference. At this point, the closure will be the exact same as last year both in timing and boundaries. They have no desire to expand it because it was successful last year and they got 100% compliance from climbers. They are also asking that we keep any details shared about the closure within our community. We want to provide climbers with information so that they can understand and support this effort. However, details are not being made public because they do not want to draw attention to the pair and invite bird watchers and others that may foster disturbance.

    While this was not our desired outcome, we respect their decision for the good of the pair. Furthermore, the Access Fund is committed to revisit this issue in the future (should it continue to exist) in trying to renegotiate the closure parameters.

    I am happy to try and answer any questions as best I can. Thanks for your support! Dana
  12. K2jet

    K2jet Member

    Again, i am not familiar with the habits of the birds.
    Someone please educate me on how they are affected when the cliffs are frozen and temps are below 32 degrees.
    Are the birds up there now or in february ?
    There are relatively new homes built atop the gullies that may have more impact than a climber in january or february.
    Lawn mowers, barking dogs, etc.
    I did notice that the closure signs, last i looked, said feb 1st, not january, like last winter.
  13. Bill Kirby

    Bill Kirby Active Member

    Climbers get much closer to a nest than a lawnmower or a dog.
  14. K2jet

    K2jet Member

    The homes up there have yards that are somewhat close to the edge of the ice.
    I appreciate the link you sent, but i didnt see any images of birds in freezing weather nesting on ice.
    Still waiting for someone to explain how birds make a home of cold frozen winter cliffs, or, how does human activity on ice affect the april to june eggs ?
    How does ice climbing really affect these birds ?
    Do they nest in winter ?
    I am just inquiring....
  15. Paul Kennedy

    Paul Kennedy Well-Known Member

    Does it matter?

    I think they would prefer to have a generous closure period which may contract over time. It's their land, they're working to preserve it, and outdoors enthusiasts should do the same. They won't yell up about your ice screw placement, and we probably shouldn't question their expertise in avian preservation.
  16. bob perna

    bob perna Member

  17. bob perna

    bob perna Member

    it is a privalege to climb at the narrows, and we must abide by the DCNR closure or we risk the closure of the entire area, i think K2jet
    should recognise this for the sake of the entire climbing community and respect the efforts of the doylestown gym and the access fund !
    thank you
  18. LarryB

    LarryB New Member

    With all due respect to Access folks, Doylestown Gym, climbers, and wildlife supporters (and anyone else whose feathers I inadvertently ruffle - pun intended), my experience says yes, question authority and specifically anyone's supposed expertise in avian preservation. For one, I'm not seeing a clear, direct answer concerning peregrine falcon activity (or migration?) in winter that warrants a ban on ice climbing. As for my experience, I live adjacent to a lot with an active eagles' nest on which both Federal and NJ State EPA officials approved construction of townhouses. What we were told is that eagles are no longer on an endangered list (same as peregrine falcons since 1999), the nest is only a "resting nest" (said the town mayor), and the tree with the eagles' nest will not be touched (cut down) because it is on the wetlands (protected) area of the lot. What a joke! That tree is within 20 feet of the boundary of cleared land where heavy construction machinery has been in daily operation for the last four months. Not only has the construction activity disrupted the eagles territory immediately surrounding their nest, but the heavy equipment has compacted the soil around a part of the base of the eagle tree- the effects on the health and shortened lifespan of this tree may not be known for 3-5 years. But the lastest glaring, flagrant disregard for the nest has been the build-up of an inclined dirt roadway about 20 feet high, directly below the nest, effectively lowering the 60 foot high nest down to 40 feet, closer to the construction. So by all means, question authority! Do it respectfully, with an open mind, but make sure the facts check out and the answers make sense.
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2017
    Tom Stryker likes this.
  19. Tom Stryker

    Tom Stryker New Member

    Personally, I would have to disagree with much of this. The DCNR might think it is " their land" but it really belongs to the people of the state. I haven't seen these Peregrine nesting sites personally, but I have seen and encountered a good many here in New Hampshire and Maine, and it seems quite unlikely people at the Narrows, which I have a fairly extensive knowledge of climbing there, are passing very close to the nests. A possible exception might be the wall left of the main gully where I think Pencil and that other route are, which could be dealt with with a small closure area. Fact is, clearly the birds nested there while ice climbing was taking place, despite the existence of other options ( they fly you know!) and there are tons of spots at the Narrows they can nest and breed that are even more secluded. I would not be at all surprised to find they are nesting across the river on a high point of the defunct power plant. Peregrines nest in a good many places in NYC, on skyscrapers and high rises, and they don't seem to close down the city around it. Around here we are asked to avoid close confrontations, of which I had one the first year they nested at Cathedral, while doing an early season run up Intimidation, and areas maybe a hundred feet wide are now closed down. Here of course there are endless other options for climbers, while the Narrows serves a great area as the only meaningful ice available for locals or folks from further South. Eventually it seems the Peregrines will either have to adapt to living with humans in proximity, , or you are going to lose all your climbing sites as their numbers multiply. Government land tools could not care any less about your climbing as they generally revel in any opportunity to tell other people what they can and can't do.
    Peregrines have, in fact, been removed from the Endangered Species Act listing. While we are prohibited from going near them the Audubon Society routinely rappels in and frigs with the chicks, bands them and counts eggs and failures, which always seems to me like something they would find more upsetting. I realize my opinion is not politically correct or hip.

    Edit to add: Not disagreeing with the above post, but those above it.
  20. K2jet

    K2jet Member

    The birds are enjoying the ice at Kville.
    Need "proof", go to the gallery !

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