The Bureau of Land Management has announced dates for seasonal closures in Central Oregon to safeguard habitats for federally protected raptors.
BLM said the annual closures protect the habitat of bald eagles, golden eagles, and prairie falcons during breeding and nesting periods
People walking, riding, or even being within view near a nest can cause an adult bird to abandon it, BLM said. If an adult bird abandons a nest, the eggs can get cold, the young may not get fed, and the nest will be open to predation.
All public use, including hiking, mountain biking, horseback riding, and off-highway vehicle use, is prohibited in the following closure areas during the identified timeframes:
- Tumalo Reservoir
- Closed from January 1 to August 31 of every year to protect nesting bald eagles.
- Visitors can still hike or ride in the northeast corner of this area or enjoy the nearby Cline Buttes Recreation Area.
- Trout Creek Trail (south side of the Trout Creek Trail only)
- Closed from January 15 to August 31 of every year to protect nesting golden eagles.
- Visitors must stay on the Trout Creek Trail or between Trout Creek Trail and the Lower Deschutes River. This closure includes the Trout Creek climbing walls. Visitors can enjoy climbing nearby at Rattlesnake, Skinners Butte, and the Gorge at Smith Rocks year-round.
- Cline Buttes Recreation Area (portions of the Deep Canyon, Fryrear, Maston, and Jaguar Road only)
- Closed February 1 to August 31 of every year to protect nesting golden eagles and prairie falcons.
- Visitors can enjoy other trails throughout this recreation area, including in the Tumalo Canal Historic Area and the Buttes year-round.
- Horny Hollow Trail near Crooked River Ranch:
- Closed from February 1 to August 31 to protect nesting golden eagles.
- Visitors can enjoy other nearby trails, including Otter Bench, Scout Camp, Folley Waters, and Steelhead Falls year-round.
Violating the closure orders can lead to a fine of up to $1,000 and/or imprisonment of up to 12 months.
BLM said bald and golden eagles are protected under the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act, the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, and the Lacey Act. Prairie falcons are protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act.
For more information about these seasonal closures, call the BLM Prineville District Office at (541) 416-6700.