NOTICE (04/26/2012) Due to lack of successful nesting, both areas are now open.
Ladders and Towers Bald Eagle Breeding Areas - Red Rock and Verde Ranger Districts
Both the Ladders and Towers bald eagle breeding areas along the Verde River are closed to the public between Dec. 1 and June 30 every year. The special closures are necessary to reduce human disturbances to the eagles during their nesting season here in the Verde Valley. The possible consequences of people disturbing nesting eagles include abandonment of eggs and loss of young. All access into the closure areas is prohibited except for river rafters. River rafters may pass on the river in the closure areas but are restricted from stopping, taking out watercraft, or delaying their passage through the area. Signs will be posted along the river to mark the closure boundaries. Violation of the closure is punishable by a fine of not more than $500 or imprisonment for not more than 6 months or both.
The two eagle area closures are:
1) On the Coconino National Forest: Towers- The Verde River north of Clarkdale: a two mile section of the river and adjacent National Forest lands in the vicinity of Sycamore Creek downstream to the rapids/powerline crossing.
2) On the Coconino and Prescott National Forests: Ladders- The Verde River south of Camp Verde: a two mile section of the river and adjacent National Forest lands in the vicinity of the "Verde Falls" downstream to below Sycamore Canyon. Road closures include Forest Service Road 9709R from its junction with FSR 574 and parts of FSR 500 south of Cottonwood Basin.
Eagle watchers will be stationed at the closure areas to protect nesting eagles and to monitor the eagles' activities for the Arizona Nestwatch Program. Protection of these breeding areas occurs annually through the cooperation of the Arizona Game and Fish Department, and the Coconino and Prescott National Forests. Group presentations on Arizona bald eagles and the NestWatch Program are available on request. For more information, contact the Prescott National Forest, Verde Ranger Station at (928) 567-4121 or the Coconino National Forest, Red Rock Ranger District at (928) 203-7507.
Additional Information: Bald Eagles - Breeding Versus Wintering in the Verde Valley