Access Alert – Peregrine Falcon Closure at Cochrane Lane

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAPeregrine falcons have established a permanent territory in the Cheekbone Corner area of Cochrane Lane. The peregrine falcon is listed as an Endangered Species on the New Brunswick Species at Rick Act, and as "species of concern" on the federal Species at Risk Act. The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has the mandate to protect the individuals and habitats of endangered species, and CFB Gagetown also intends to protect the "species of concern" that nests on federal land.  CFB Gagetown and NB DNR have established an annual no-trespass zone around the peregrine nest site in order to protect this rare species from disturbance during its breeding season.  This approach is consistent with other nearby jurisdictions (Maine, New Hampshire, Quebec) and is recognized as a successful technique to manage both peregrines and climbers.

 

An automatic annual restriction on all disturbances, including climbing, and will be in place between April 1 and August 1. Closed areas include: Burrough’s Wall to Amphitheater, and Cheekbone Corner to Pooh Corner. The closed areas will also be indicated on a map near the sign-in box.  Do not trespass within these areas. Range Control will be conducting random foot patrols, and DNR Welsford will also enforce protection.

The nest will be annually checked each spring to determine if the birds are present, not present or relocated, and appropriate management decisions and public notifications will be made. This approach ensures that the birds are protected from disturbance during the sensitive nesting time.  The birds will be monitored throughout the summer, and restrictions may be removed early if chicks are seen flying in July. Updates may be posted.

It is exciting to have peregrine falcons nesting in Welsford. Once the chicks fledge (leave the nest), the areas will be opened to climbing again. The chicks will fly around the valley, and climbers will be able to watch the parents tend the young. We as climbers must respect these birds and protect them. Do not violate the no-trespass zone, and if you see anyone in this zone, please act responsibly. Inform them that they are harassing an endangered species, and for them to leave the area. If they do not, please call DNR Welsford 486-6000 or DND 422-2000 (ext. 3121). For those who are curious about the nest, it is under an overhanging section of the cliff and not visible from above. There are no photo opportunities, so do not go looking.

Please recognize that climbers’ access to the cliffs of Welsford is a privilege granted by CFB Gagetown. If we violate any of the regulations, our access may be revoked. Please act responsibly. Individual actions affect us all. Thanks for your cooperation in respecting this closure for the protection of the falcons.

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