Wash. rock wall popular with climbers, falcons

Published:

 

NORTH BEND, Wash. (AP) -- Biologists are asking climbers to temporarily avoid a popular rock wall east of North Bend, Wash., because it has also proved popular with peregrine falcons who built a nest there.

Wildlife biologist Sonny Paz with the Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest hopes climbers will avoid the Deception Crag Wall just off Interstate 90's Exit 38 until the end of June. That's when the young birds will be ready to leave the nest.

Officials at nearby Olallie State Park say as many as 200 people try to climb the wall on weekends. The birds are on Forest Service land above the state park.

Paz says the steep rock face protects the eggs and young birds from predators. It also offers a sweeping view of an area where the adult falcons are able to hunt for prey.

The peregrine is designated a sensitive species, which requires the Forest Service to protect its breeding habitat.