The annual closure of climbing routes up Mill Creek Canyon will start this weekend, April 1.

Tod McKay of the Bitterroot National Forest said the restrictions have been put in place to "prevent disturbance to known raptor nesting sites."

The north side of the canyon will have the same closures as last year, including the "Pie for Strength" climbing area.

Wildlife experts will be monitoring the area to see if birds are using established nests or have started new nesting locations. If there are no active nests, the restrictions will be lifted, McKay reported.

Forest Service rules for "No Bolting" will be monitored. That rule prohibits new fixed anchors or expansion of any existing bolted routes. An anchor can be replaced for safety reasons.

The maps and information will be at the area trailheads and are also at the Bitterroot National Forest website. You can also call the Stevensville Ranger District at 406-777-5461.