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Eagles at Wildcat

Trail Closures when Eagles are Nesting

Bald and Golden Eagles and their nests are protected by Federal Law and require trail closures and buffers when the nests are active.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) requires certain trail closures in order for the Highlands Ranch Community Association (HRCA) to be in compliance with Federal Law. Each year, the entire Wildcat Mountain Trail System (yellow and purple trails in map below) closes from January 1st through March 31st for wintering wildlife. This is also the time period where eagles begin their courtship and nesting behavior and the closure is required by the USFWS. 

April 1st, the trail system opens, except for the Wildcat Mountain Trail (Purple Trail). It remains closed if the eagles have begun nesting. The purple trail, along with part of Douglas County’s East/West Trail (The RED part) remain closed through September 1st as required by USFWS. The rest of the Douglas County Trail (green and blue parts, as well as the yellow parts of the Wildcat Trail System are open during eagle nesting. The red D.C. Trail does not close until mid-March; typically when the eagles are confirmed as nesting and then remains closed through September 1st, along with the purple trail. Questions: [email protected]

Golden Eagles at Wildcat Trail

Click on a question below to see the answer.

What would be considered to “molest” or “disturb” an eagle or eagle nest?

“Disturb” means: “to agitate or bother an eagle to a degree that causes or is likely to cause, based on the best scientific information available, 1) Injury to an eagle, 2) a decrease in its productivity, by substantially interfering with normal breeding, feeding, or sheltering behavior, or 3) nest abandonment, by substantially interfering with normal breeding, feeding, or sheltering behavior.”

The Wildcat Mountain Trail System is home to a Golden Eagle Nest.