Prescott National Forest reopens bald eagle nesting area along Verde River
The Prescott National Forest will be lifting the closure order on the bald eagle nesting area along the Verde River, south of Camp Verde on Wednesday, June 10.
A news release from the Forest Service reports that the Ladders Bald Eagle closure area is closed annually to the public from Dec. 1 through June 30 in order to protect bald eagles, a federally protected species, from disturbance during their breeding and nesting period.
Nest site monitoring by the Arizona Game and Fish Department’s Nestwatch program confirmed occupancy and hatching of one young eaglet by the breeding pair. However, the eaglet did not survive, most likely due to exposure to high temperatures during their critical post-hatching period.
The Ladders closure area is located south of Camp Verde along a 2-mile section of the Verde River and adjacent National Forest lands in the vicinity of the “Verde Falls” downstream to below Sycamore Canyon. Roads now open to public use include Forest Road 9709R from its junction with Forest Road 574 and parts of Forest Road 500 and Forest Road 9244 south of Cottonwood Basin.
“The Closure Order and the Bald Eagle Nestwatch Program are two of many management actions that agencies use to ensure that Arizona will always have bald eagles for the public to enjoy,” states the news release. “The Forest Service and the Arizona Game and Fish Department would like to thank the residents of the Verde Valley and of Arizona for their cooperation with this bald eagle closure area.”