The Forest Service plans to begin a phased reopening of units 1-61 in mid-June. During the nesting season, the Forest Service will also provide opportunities for visitors to view the bald eagle nest with a spotting scope and learn more about the biology of these magnificent birds.
Bald eagles have nested around Union Valley Reservoir since 1986. Bald eagles build large stick nests in the upper branches of the tallest trees, which offer great views for fishing and protecting their nest. Pairs generally return to the same nest year after year, building upon and improving it. For more than 10 years, the Union Valley bald eagles nested on Granlee Point on the southeast side of the reservoir.
Late in 2015, the Granlee Point nest fell out of the tree, and the bald eagles built a new nest in Sunset Campground. The bald eagles in Union Valley have successfully fledged two juveniles in 2015 and 2016, helping to boost populations of bald eagles in California.
The US Forest Service is working with California Department of Fish and Wildlife and US Fish and Wildlife Service to protect the nesting eagles while minimizing restrictions on recreational use of the area. Disturbance of eagles is prohibited under the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act.
The complete Sunset Campground Bald Eagle Closure Order No. 03-16-03 is posted on the forest website at www.fs.usda.gov/eldorado . You can also visit this website for more information on the status of roads and recreation sites forest-wide.
Eldorado National Forest Press Release May 24, 2017
Photo credit from the Audubon Field Guide