Peregrine Falcon.

Peregrine Closure Discussion with the Mohonk Preserve

The GCC, Access Fund, and Rock and Snow Discussion with the Mohonk Preserve on the Peregrine Falcon Closure

What you should know about bouldering along the carriage road.

In February, 2023, the Gunks Climbers Coalition, Access Fund, and representatives of the bouldering community met with the Mohonk Preserve to discuss their peregrine falcon closure policies. We’re pleased to provide you with an update on what was a very productive conversation.

The Mohonk Preserve, as a conservation organization, is committed to creating an environment where peregrines can nest and hatch successfully. Peregrine habitat takes precedence over climbing. The GCC and Access Fund promote sustainable access and conservation in their mission and will continue to support the Mohonk Preserve in their conservation efforts.

Given this background, we appreciate that the Preserve is approaching peregrine management with an open mind. Their plan continues to evolve based on science and coordination with other conservation groups and land managers. This has included working with the Access Fund and researching how closures have been handled nationwide to better understand climber’s impact on nesting success.

The most important part of the nesting process is February and March when the falcons are selecting a site. A broad closure will continue to be used to ensure that the birds are not disturbed during this nesting site selection period. The GCC recognizes the impact the large early season closure has on the bouldering community and brought this point to the Preserve’s attention.

The limiting of restrictions on bouldering along the carriage road to group size and noise levels was a positive result of these conversations. While a number of specific boulders remain closed, bouldering along the carriage road will be permitted with two conditions:

  • Group size will be limited in areas like the Andrew and Boxcar Boulders
  • All visitors, including boulderers, will minimize unnecessary noise when adjacent to the closure

Leaving the carriage road bouldering open to small quiet groups is a pilot initiative this year, and the Preserve will be monitoring whether it is a viable approach to use in the future. We appreciate your patience as the effects of bouldering on nesting sites becomes better understood. We thank our climbing community for continuing to respect the closure and abiding by the Preserve’s requests.

Thank you also to Andrew Zalewski and Rock and Snow for their knowledge of bouldering along the carriage road and participation in these conversations.

For latest announcements for the closures, please visit the GCC website for updates. To keep up to date with the latest news and sightings of the Peregrine Falcons at the Gunks, see the Mohonk Preserve’s Peregrine Watch page.

For background on Peregrine closures, read this information on Peregrines on the Ridge from the Mohonk Preserve. For additional questions or concerns about the closure, please contact us at gcc@gunksclimbers.org.

Update: As of August 3, 2023, this Peregrine Falcon Trapps closure has been lifted.