Feb 1, 2016, 7:04 AM
Post #1 of 1
Registered: Sep 16, 2010
"Beginning February 1st and lasting until July 31st, a section of the Nockamixon Cliffs Natural Area in Delaware Canal State Park will be CLOSED ALL ACTIVITY. This closure is to protect an endangered species nesting area during its most sensitive time. As a governmental organization dedicated to land and environmental stewardship, it is our responsibility to ensure the best possible outcome for this species that has decided to nest in the area. In this case, recreation must take a backseat to wildlife conservation. Closed areas will be posted with signs; the closure is located in the middle of the cliffs, with areas at either end open to normal winter activities if conditions exist. Both Delaware Canal State Park and PA Game Commission officers will be enforcing this closure. Due to the species being protected by many laws, including the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, failure to comply with the closures could lead to very hefty fines - up to $5,000. We appreciate the understanding from the ice climbing community, as we recognize that many of you are environmental stewards yourselves and want to see these creatures flourish. So I appreciate your patience as we enter into a new mode of operation, and I thank you for helping the species by obeying the closure."
OTHER THINGS TO NOTE:
- The nesting pair appeared last year as well. The species in question is still on the endangered list for the State of PA so the park services/PAGC are bound to take action.
- The cliffs are located in a “Natural Area”. They have no dedication to recreational activity; they usually have a restriction. We have been allowed to ice climb there because the ice covers that which is being protected. When the ice melts, there is no evidence of any recreational activity.
- The Access Fund has been contacted. Information is being forwarded to them for review of the closure to see if it is “excessive” or if it may be limited. The Access Fund also sent a bunch of information which was forwarded to the folks handling this closure to show that we, as a community, have respect for such closures as well as the ability to offer compromises. Not sure all the work will get done to save this season, if that is even possible.
At this point, the park service has great respect for our community. We have worked very successfully with them at High Rocks and Haycock. They have never had issue with any of the ice climbers. In fact, they “think” they have left room on either end of the closure for some activity…not sure if that is climbable or not but they were trying to leave something. Please help continue the relationship so we can work on this access issue.