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Release Date: 05/20/13
Contacts: Jared Fluckiger, (208) 384-3342    
  News Contact: MJ Byrne (208) 384-3393, cell (208) 871-1992    

New Rules Protect Wildlife and Public Safety in Birds of Prey National Conservation Area

BOISE – New rules designed to protect habitats for raptors and enhance public safety are now in effect in the Morley Nelson Snake River Birds of Prey National Conservation Area (NCA) southwest of Boise. The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has issued final supplementary rules that enable full enforcement of a number of prohibited activities identified in the 2008 resource management plan (RMP) for the NCA. The rules were developed with public input during the RMP process and in comments received on proposed rules, published in July.
 The new rules prohibit rock climbing and rappelling in the Snake River Canyon within NCA boundaries to protect 16 species of raptors that nest in or on canyon walls at various times of the year. Unstable basalt also poses a significant safety hazard to anyone climbing on the cliffs. The proposed rules were revised to allow a style of rock climbing known as bouldering, so long as it does not occur on the canyon walls of the Snake River within the NCA. A definition of bouldering was also included in the final supplementary rules.
 Use of paintball guns and equipment is prohibited in the Snake River Canyon or within ¼ mile of the canyon rim inside NCA boundaries. In the past, some of the NCA’s significant cultural resources have been damaged by paintball gun use. Prohibiting use of paintball guns will help ensure the maintenance of early cabin architecture, ferry crossings, Oregon Trail segments, and petroglyphs.
 Open fires are prohibited outside of BLM-approved fire rings to help avert human-caused wildfires. Additional restrictions on open fires and other burning may be imposed during periods of high fire danger.
Anyone who violates any of these rules may be tried before a United States Magistrate and fined up no more than $1,000 or imprisoned for no more than 12 months or both. Such violations may also be subject to enhanced fines provided for by 18 U.S.C. 3571.

The 2008 RMP for the NCA is available at the BLM Boise District Office, 3948 Development Ave., Boise, ID 83705. 

For further information, please contact Jared Fluckiger, outdoor recreation planner for the NCA (208) 384-3342.

The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land, the most of any Federal agency. This land, known as the National System of Public Lands, is primarily located in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. The BLM's mission is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of America’s public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations. In Fiscal Year 2015, the BLM generated $4.1 billion in receipts from activities occurring on public lands.

Last updated: 10-31-2013