Updated: Oct 13, 2020
We heard from the Bitterroot National Forest Wildlife Biologist, Dave Lockman. Dave has been surveying the Mill Creek canyon area for eagle activity. Here is his report:
"The two nests on the north side of the canyon near the Pie for Strength area are both intact but appear to be unused. However, the nest on the south side of the canyon that was used last year is active again this year. This week I watched the nest for over an hour. I couldn’t see the eagle lying in the nest most of the time because the nest is so big, but occasionally it would shift around and I could see wing or tail tips. At one point it stood up and shuffled around a little and stretched and carefully laid back down. It was probably the female because it was really big. I assume they’re still incubating, or that eggs have just hatched. I also saw what I assume was the male fly high across the canyon from south to north and disappear behind the north rim.
As a result of confirming that the eagles are using the nest on the south side of the canyon, the Forest is rescinding the climbing closure on the Pie for Strength area. We will retain the closure on the south side of the canyon."
As always, be good stewards of the land if you go climbing at Mill Creek (or anywhere else for that matter); adhere to the Leave no Trace principles, be respectful of local folks, and follow the Access Fund recommendations for climbing during the Covid19 pandemic.