Interesting Closure At The New River Gorge

Interesting Closure At The New River Gorge

In areas like Colorado’s Frontrange seasonal crag closures to accommodate nesting birds are an accepted fact of life, but a recent closure in West Virginia has the locals buzzing.

Writing in a blog entry on 8a.nu, Porter Jarrard outlines how the National Park Service temporarily closed an area in the New River Gorge known as The Cirque due to a pair of nesting peregrine falcons.  The Cirque is notable among climbers for having the highest concentration of hard sport routes at the New.  You can get a better idea of its size and scope by watching Chris Sharma onsighting the route Proper Soul (5.14a) in this video at MVM.  The Cirque is also used by many other user groups like hikers and bird watching aficionados.

The main issue the local community seems to have with the closure is the lack of communication between the NPS and the various user groups that utilize the amazing resource that is The Cirque.  Apparently there was no warning or discussion before this closure took effect.  You could debate whether or not this is a problem, but the fact that the NPS and the climbing community have had a positive relationship in the past makes it all the more frustrating.  Check out the thread on 8a.nu for Jarrard’s full take on the issue as well as the opinion of a few other local climbers.

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4 Responses to Interesting Closure At The New River Gorge

  1. Doug Lipinski May 6, 2009 at 11:20 am #

    Similar feelings have been expressed for decades about the closures in and around the Flatirons here in Boulder, but they are mostly just accepted as the way things are and will be.

    I think there will always be disagreements about how necessary these closures are, but it’s disappointing that there seems to have been no (or very little) warning or communication about this closure beforehand.

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  2. nate May 11, 2009 at 4:36 pm #

    Are there actually nesting birds. A few years ago they tried to close 7 miles of cliffline on the speculation that falcons might nest there if they closed it – which was unprecedented in NPS policy and didn’t exactly fly.

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    • Narc May 12, 2009 at 6:59 am #

      I’m pretty sure there are actual nesting birds.

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  3. nate May 12, 2009 at 10:15 am #

    Well I think that –if — that is true, that is great and I’m all for it. The Cirque is very isolated from other areas of the gorge and being closed should make a great environment for the birds, which are really awesome creatures.

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