Interpretation During a Pandemic
Despite the COVID pandemic, the Interpretation staff at Arches National Park remain dedicated to connecting visitors to the park.
Rangers have developed creative solutions like socially distanced astronomy pop-up programs and thematic social media posts on a variety of web-based platforms.
Indian Creek Restrictions Lifted
MONTICELLO, Utah – Bureau of Land Management (BLM) sincerely thanks the climbing community for their efforts in avoiding raptor nesting sites during the spring climbing season. The BLM now welcomes climbers to use any walls within the Indian Creek corridor, and no longer asks for voluntary avoidance of nesting areas.
Each spring, the BLM asks climbers to voluntarily avoid routes near historic nest sites in Indian Creek. In June 2020, the BLM confirmed no nesting activity on several walls and climbers no longer needed to avoid those walls.
Minimizing disturbances during crucial egg incubation and brood-rearing periods for peregrine falcons, eagles, and other raptors is critical to successfully rearing young. A BLM wildlife biologist monitored active nests weekly throughout the season and at least two peregrine falcon pairs successfully reared and fledged chicks.
Peregrine falcons are remarkable birds that nest and hunt in the cliffs surrounding Indian Creek. They can fly up to 70 miles per hour and reach up to 200 miles per hour in free fall dives.
However, despite their speed and agility, peregrine populations were in steep decline during the mid-20th century, and in the United States the birds became an endangered species.
Today they have rebounded strongly since the use of DDT and other chemical pesticides have been curtailed.
Though no longer listed under the U.S. Endangered Species Act, the peregrine falcon is still a protected species. Voluntarily avoiding climbing routes with historical and active nests helps protect raptors and reduces the need for mandatory restrictions.
This is an excerpt from the Canyonlands Natural History Association’s Member Newsletter. To find out more about CNHA and how to get your own copy delivered, visit the Canyonlands Natural History Association website.