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About elaine

  • Birthday 11/30/1999


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  1. Madrone Wall is back open!! Woot-woot! August 1st was the planned reopening date for this season (both COVID and Peregrine related), but County Parks made good on their intent to reopen it as soon as possible. Big thanks to Interim Parks Manager, Tom Riggs, for making the extra effort to let climbers and other park enthusiasts get back out there. Please note the hours through August. The gate will open at *9am and the gate will close at 8pm (An 8:30am opening might be possible on some days, but we were told to expect 9am). County Parks has seen a 20% staff reduction, so please be patient, and maybe say "thanks" when you see one of the rangers in the morning or evening. Please also remember that 8pm closing means 8pm. Do not get stuck behind the gate after closing. (**Quick edit: 9am opening will likely be the starting time for the rest of the season. Always pay attention to the County Parks website for info - https://www.clackamas.us/parks) Thanks for remembering to pay the $6 Day Use fee, or grab an annual pass in person at a few parks locations (or purchase online) - https://www.clackamas.us/parks/annualpass.html, and thanks for being good stewards of this little gem of a place. Watch out for poison oak, especially as you get closer to the wall, and keep us posted here if you see that there are yellow jacket/hornet nests. The MWPC hopes to be out there in the coming days to clear back some of the poison oak and make sure the trails are ok. Belay on! Kellie & Keith, MWPC www.facebook.com/madronewall
  2. Below is a post I wrote on Cascade Corridor Climbers Facebook page today. Per my post on FB below - https://www.facebook.com/groups/CCClimbers/permalink/3266008956798011/ I thought I would share a little info on this page that I have learned in talking with 3 different wildlife biologists, who don't know each other at all, as well as the Head Ranger at Smith Rock about Peregrine Falcon development and behaviors, and why many of our favorite climbing and recreation areas have restrictions. The Head Ranger at Smith shared some info on both Bald and Golden Eagles, too, which might affect other areas besides Smith. As someone who has been involved with climbing access since 2003 in Oregon, I think it's important that all climbers (and hikers, mountain bikers, etc) not only understand a little about the wildlife that we share our spaces with, but also recognize that there is a discrepancy with how different land managers are not on the same page. The more information we have, the more we can advocate for a balanced approach to recreational access. And don't get me wrong, I love Peregrines and other raptors, and I think they need space when raising their offspring. The Migratory Bird Treaty Act is misused by land managers. It has to do with *intentional* take and killing, and it was not written for unintentional disturbance, such as climbers finding a new eyrie/nest on a cliff that wasn't known about. -Two of the most critical times to not disturb the falcons are courtship and eyrie/nest selection, and the first two weeks after the chicks hatch because they can't thermoregulate. -If juveniles can't figure out flying within that first 24 hours of attempted fledging, it's possible that they will die. They can't hunt if they can't fly. (This certainly isn't always the case.) One wildlife biologist who bred them in captivity in conjunction with the Peregrine Fund and released them from Hack boxes said that they had no parents (role models) to watch for flying and hunting skills. It's as if they just knew what to do to survive. -Juveniles are hunting on their own in one week of fledging. -Juveniles will go further and further from the nest in the days and weeks after fledging (per radio collar info). They may be gone for days at a time two weeks after fledging. -Juveniles will migrate south come September while the adults often stick around in the region. Cascade mountain Peregrines (Smith/Menagerie) *might* head to the coast for the variety of shorebirds for food come August/September and into winter before returning to their typical eyrie/nesting area. Many climbing and hiking areas (Cape Horn, WA) have different dates when closures are lifted. Some are two weeks after fledging (Honeycombs), and some are flat out July 15/31. Blanket reopening dates are not necessary, which is what Beacon Rock often is. **Smith Rock lifts Peregrine closures between 4 and 7 days after the youngest juvenile fledges because that's enough time to not let the falcons harass climbers, and climbers won't bother them anymore, either. For the bald eaglets nesting in the tree just outside of the Bivy campground next to the river, the restrictions for the Canyon trail and rim campsites are lifted (in a normal year) one week after the eaglets fledge. Monitors are looking to see when the eaglets do not return to the nest at night, and not present in the nest the next morning, and typically that's one week. Golden Eagle closures on the Monument are often lifted immediately because the juveniles are gone from the area after fledging. Goldens are more sensitive to human disturbance compared to other raptors in the park. I loved the Head Ranger at Smith's final statement about raptor closures: "Park users respect the closures because we are transparent with them." A long, but informative post. I am also not any kind of raptor expert, but I am just sharing the knowledge and practice of those who work with raptors. I do think that the more information we have about nesting raptors, the more we can respectfully challenge those who are making decisions. Change doesn't come quick, but engaging land managers in conversations with facts and information with management of raptors at other climbing areas can be helpful in starting those conversations. Kudos to people like Greg Orton, who has done a fabulous job in Southern Oregon with this. I added this comment/reply to my post - I would say that Smith Rock is a good model for balancing wildlife closures and recreation. They work with 3 wildlife biologists (one state park and two US F&W), as well as the Oregon Eagle Foundation. I've always enjoyed looking through the eagle cams set up at Northern Point, and also talking with the rangers and volunteers monitoring to learn more. With the bald eaglets as a great example, they are actually waiting to see that the eaglets have spent the night away from the nest before lifting the restrictions. Always follow www.smithrock.com for more info, or follow their FB page. I would just add that it's best to keep in mind what I shared above that some of the milestones in development with juveniles fledging, or even some of the adult behaviors are what's typical and normally observed. However, there can be some variances with some of this, too, but are not as frequent. I guess be patient with your favorite climbs reopening if the juveniles take longer to fledge than normal, which is approximately 42 days after hatching using Peregrines as an example. I tried to make a point to state that some of the points below are not an end-all, be-all. There will always be variances with nesting raptors and juvenile development, but 3 different wildlife biologists who don't know one another can't be that far off, nor can a Head Ranger at Smith Rock be that out of touch, either. Kellie President, Madrone Wall Preservation Committee
  3. Howdy! Any Beacon regulars on this site been involved with Peregrine Falcon monitoring or aware of typical fledging times for the juveniles? Joseph Healy? I ask because I am trying to gather info from different climbing areas in an effort to present info to Clackamas County Parks RE: Madrone Wall and the development of a management plan. County Parks is pretty unaware as to what's happening with other land managers and how they balance nesting raptors and climbing (or hiking). I have info for Smith Rocks (pretty liberal), and am working on Acker Rock and the Menagerie (OR), as well as Index. The Cape Horn Peregrines fledged on June 17, and ours at Madrone fledged June 14. I did call BRSP earlier this week and Heath(?) told me that the juveniles fledge the 2nd week of July. I am somewhat dubious because fledging and lifting of closures do not mean the same thing, but I haven't been involved with monitoring at Beacon over the years to know when the juveniles typically make their first flight. Thanks for any info! Kellie www.facebook.com/madronewall
  4. I an effort to keep this thing from the landfill, I am hoping that someone can give it the TLC it needs or find another use for it. It's 30 years old, has a couple of tears, and the hip buckles are missing. Any takers? I am happy to meet up in Portland, and maybe at one of the gyms to hand it off? I am in SW Portland just outside of Multnomah Village. Thanks! Kellie
  5. Just a reminder that the full seasonal closure for Peregrine Falcons will start tomorrow, Feb 1st., at the Madrone Wall (Oregon). Peregrines continue to remain on and near the eyrie. The County has hired a Biologist to train park staff and also to mainly take care of the monitoring for the County. The County cites lack of staffing to monitor the Peregrines. I will be monitoring the Peregrines 1-2x/month, and there are a couple of other climbers who have expressed interest in monitoring. If you're interested in monitoring, please message me here. There will be NO recreational access at the Madrone Wall Park during the seasonal closure. Please continue to refer to the County's website for information - https://www.clackamas.us/parks/madronewall.html You can also stay tuned here or our Facebook page - https://www.facebook.com/madronewall Thanks! Kellie
  6. Hello Climbers, Don't shoot the messenger.... As per our Faceplant post earlier today the County has two changes for September: 1) The closing hours for the Madrone will change on September 1st to 6pm, and this will last through October 31st. (See image attached) So, 9/1-10/31 - hours are 7am-6pm. This will change again Nov 1st and those hours will be 7am-4pm. 2) The daily parking fee will be $6 per car instead of $5 at all of their parks. Per the County's website, it says the increase will happen "after Labor Day" (see image), so I assume that means Tuesday, September 4th. I have not seen anything about increases to their 6 month or annual passes. As always, please contact Clackamas County if you have questions about this, and always refer to their website for the latest information. Website for all Park info: https://clackamas.us/parks/ Madrone Wall Park County site: https://clackamas.us/parks/madronewall.html Thanks for reading! Kellie Rice President, MWPC
  7. As taken from the Smith Rock Spring Thing Facebook Page: Calvin Landrus, the president of the Smith Rock Group passed away from cancer this weekend. Calvin was involved with many activities with the Smith Rock Climbing community. Calvin worked on organizing the food for the Spring Thing morning registration and evening dinner. This was one huge task that we never had to worry about because we knew Calvin had it under control. He would show up before Spring Thing with his mini van and trailer completely full of food and supplies for the event. This year he was unable to help because we was diagnosed with cancer. It took several people, including his son Jaxson Landrus to do what Calvin was able to do by himself. He also really helped the Smith Rock Group get organized and updated all our State and Federal non-profit records. Calvin has been with the Smith Rock Group for many years. Calvin had a huge heart for helping others and the climbing community. Calvin, you will be missed. Calvin was a top-notch human being. I had no idea about his cancer diagnosis until I read the above today. I remember his positive attitude and constant smile each morning as I registered at the Spring Thing clean up, as well as seeing him out working on his own climbing projects during the winter months. Godspeed, Calvin. Kellie
  8. Thanks for sharing, and glad that all involved are ok.
  9. Hi Joseph, Thank you for your input. I know you've been involved with monitoring over the years. Some of the approaches in Orton's drafted guide might not work for certain areas, but I think the more informed we climbers are as a group the better of a chance that we can start a conversation with land managers. A manual from The Peregrine Fund (1996) by Cade and Enderson states that closures can be lifted once Peregrines fledge. Maybe you've seen it? I'd like to start this particular conversation with Clackamas County this next year, and not waiting until July 15th or 16th each year for re-opening. There is no one at the County with any experience around monitoring, nor did they help at all these last two years. I'm a little dubious of any monitoring by them in previous years since they haven't shown us any information when we've asked for it. The Peregrines in general started nesting later in general on the west side of the Cascades. The juveniles that I'm aware of at Madrone, Beacon, Cape Horn, and even Roseburg, all fledged within a week of each other around June 23rd. The Prairie falcon closure at Smith just lifted today for Kiss of the Leepers area. The Monument area reopened one week after the lone Bald Eaglet fledged: Fledged on June 30th, and the closure was lifted on July 7. I realize that Smith is a different beast, too, but they have tentative blanket closures, or should I say tentative opening dates in place, but rely on information from those monitoring about the "independence of the juveniles." (quote from the ranger on the phone). http://assets.peregrinefund.org/docs/pdf/research-library/manuals/manual-eyrie-management.pdf https://smithrock.com/news-all/friday-13th-good-luck-first-kiss-smith-rock-climbers https://smithrock.com/news-all/most-smith-rock-raptor-closures-lifted
  10. Good afternoon, I just received this from Greg Orton from the SW Oregon Climbers Coalition. It has very timely information around Peregrine closures and why they might not need to be as restrictive as they once were. I think that the more information we as climbers have around the best available science regarding the healthy Peregrine population, the better chance we may have with land managers and less restrictive closures to our favorite crags and trails. We do need to be willing to start that conversation with land managers though. https://www.outsideonline.com/2322206/climbers-changing-outdated-raptor-closures-peregrine-falcon Thanks to: Adam Baylor (Mazamas and Access Fund RC) Greg Orton (SW OR Climbers Coalition) Dave Peterson (US F&W - Retired) Thanks for reading! Kellie Rice President, Madrone Wall Preservation Committee
  11. Madrone Wall Park will re-open on Monday, July 16 at 7:00am👏! Always refer to the County's website for park rules, hours, parking fees, and other important information: https://www.clackamas.us/parks/madronewall.html * Park hours are 7:00am-8:00pm daily. Do not get caught behind the gate at closing. * PLEASE carpool, as there are only 20 parking spaces. You can also carpool from Carver or Barton parks nearby. Trimet bus line #30 also has stops very close to the park. * There is a $5 parking fee (increasing to $6 on 9/4) or you can purchase 6 month or annual passes at the following parks: Metzler, Eagle Fern, Barton, Feyrer, or at their admin offices on Beavercreek Rd. * Please also note from our monitoring posts that the eyrie/nest for the Peregrine falcons is located on the Shining Wall. The juveniles will be 3 weeks old at time of opening and should be hunting on their own. * There are no established trails to the top of the cliff. Plans are in the works for 2019 for more trails. * Poison oak is in the area and mainly as you are halfway up both trails and near the wall. Make a point to know what it looks like if you're unsure. * Thank you for "Leaving No Trace" while you're there, and thank you for your patience! YAY!! Kellie Rice President, Madrone Wall Preservation Committee www.facebook.com/madronewall
  12. June 22nd Update: We have two juveniles for sure! I am guessing based on their lack of white feathers as well as their movement abilities around and away from the scrape that they are at about 5 weeks old - 35 days. One was more adventurous and was about 5 feet off the eyrie/scrape/nest to the left. (Maybe above the route Paleontologist?) Another was atop the block on the right side. See photo below. It's impossible to see the birds in the picture, but you can see their location. Mama bird was screaming at me while perched in the Doug Fir tree. I anticipate fledging in the next week by both if they follow the typical development of 42-45 days old before fledging. Keith was also able to see two juveniles with an adult feeding atop the block earlier this week. Remember that their actual nest/scrape location where they hatched is behind the block. Once again, the County has told us that they will not open the park before July 15. We actually don't have a firm opening date yet. They do have plans to do some improvements before opening, including an electronic fee cache. They will definitely allow the two weeks disbursement period so that the juveniles can develop their wings, and they will only do their improvements after the disbursement period is complete. I wish we could get them to commit to a "2 weeks after fledging opening," but we can't just yet. They're going to open it when they're ready. Thank you! Kellie
  13. Hi Everyone, On Wednesday, June 13th, I was able to spot one chick (lots of white feathers) on the right hand side of the scrape. USF&W consult say that the chicks start moving around the nest at around 3-4 weeks old. Mama bird was definitely agitated that I was there, too, and more so with previous observations as she circled above me and went back to the cliff. In other news, Keith and I had a productive meeting with the County Wednesday afternoon. We discussed them having more of a role with monitoring in future years (they haven't helped at all this year or last year), new drafted trailhead kiosk sign & map completed by Sarah Bradham at the Mazamas (thanking her for her time and expertise!), as well as future improvements that will happen before opening this summer. The County will not open the park before July 15 this year. The County also is not interested in building a trail from the cliff to the top this year, but is more supportive for a project in 2019. Thank you for respecting the closure during this time. Kellie President, MWPC
  14. Observation today from 6:30-8am. At 6:30 I watched through the trees just before entering the parking lot and I could see the female (I assume) climbing up the left side of the block and sitting momentarily on top. She quickly left the cliff and flew to the Doug Fir tree. She sat 15-20 feet below the top and on the right. The male (I assume) was out hunting. At 6:42 there was definitely cacking/crying at the eyrie. My guess is based on Dave Peterson's information is that they might be between 2 and 3 weeks old. At 6:48 am a male flew into the top of the tree from the south. The female went up and circled near him, but there was no food exchange. The female then immediately flew to above and right of the eyrie - about 15 feet. She continued to make noise. At 7am, the male left the tree and flew south to likely hunt more. At 7:25 she left that upper position at the cliff, flew into the eyrie, and dropped behind the block. The chicks were loud with mama there! At around 7:29 she came up and was perched at the back of the block calling/cacking again. At 7:40 the male flew into the eyrie with food and delivered it to the block, but the female took it and went to the tree. She sat on a short east-facing branch while she fed. The male went to the top of the tree and sat quietly. There is no doubt that we have chicks, but it's possible that the chicks were fed before or after my observation time. I already mentioned this in my last post, but based on my conversation with Dave Peterson (USF&W- Retired) this last Saturday, we should start to see chicks moving behind the block between 3 and 4 weeks old, so Father's Day weekend, give or take a few days? Thank you for respecting the closure during this time. We have a meeting with Clackamas County next Wednesday afternoon. Hopefully we'll have more of an idea of the age of the chicks and when we might be able to estimate an approximate opening date. Thank you, Kellie
  15. We have chicks!! At 7:01 an adult flew in with food and dropped behind the block where they are nesting. There is no mistaking the sound that I heard - a chorus of chicks chirping! Dave Peterson, USF&W - Retired, said that they could be likely 2 weeks old. Peterson also said that we would likely hear them crying - almost a cacking sound - at 3-4 weeks old, but continue chirping while being fed. He also said that at 3-4 weeks old we would start to see movement behind the block, and movement on top of the block at 5 weeks old. Ian Caldwell, past President and current Ranger at Smith Rock, had told me back during our trail building days in 2016 that we would definitely be able to hear chicks. The eyrie position in the rocks creates an amphitheater effect with the sounds the falcons (adults and chicks) make, so if an adult brings them food we can definitely hear it while standing on the ground. It's hard to really say how old they are or how many there are, but a normal clutch size is between 3 and 5 chicks. Thank you for respecting the closure. It should also be noted that both falcons seemed very agitated by my presence today even though I was observing from the same location. After feeding chicks - 7.09am.MOV
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