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Joshua Tree: Nesting eagles temporarily close some climbing routes

Climbing routes in the northern part of Joshua Tree National Park have been closed temporarily so as not to disturb a pair of golden eagles nesting in the area.

The routes in the Indian Cove area may remain shut as late as mid-June, according to the National Park Service.

"The nesting pair appears to have finished constructing a nest, and this area will remain closed until the nest has been abandoned to ensure the protection of the species for the duration of the nesting activities," a park statement says. Closures went into effect Feb. 24.

The routes affected are Slatanic Area, Rattlesnake Buttress, Margaret Thatcher Spire, the Stepping Stones, the Bulkhead, the Dunce Cap and Commissioner's Buttress.

All visitors, including hikers, are asked to steer clear of the area. Signs are posted at the closed areas, and visitor centers inside the park are getting the word out too.

Other parts of the park also are temporarily closed. Heavy flash floods that have churned up heavy metals over the past few years have shut trails to Cottonwood Spring Oasis, Los Palms Oasis, Mastadon Peak and Cottonwood Wash in the south end of the park.

Mary.Forgione@latimes.com
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