When heavy rains in the winter of 2017 sent soil and boulders crashing down onto the popular hiking and biking trail within the Folsom Lake State Recreation Area, officials rushed to clean up the area. But now with a bald eagle couple returning to the Lake Natoma area to nest, those repairs on the trail may be delayed until next year.
Frequent visitors of the trail have grown frustrated with repair efforts, even ignoring posted signs and climbing over the dirt and boulders to reach the other side of the trail. So now, the trail that is popular due to its beautiful natural surroundings, is ironically unable to be repaired due to said nature.
The federally-protected bald eagle couple began building a nest in the area last week, making construction in the area illegal. The eagles have lived there in the past, even birthing eaglets in a similar nest in the state park. Now that they’ve returned, trail access is limited, but viewing the beautiful birds is a privilege.
“Yeah, absolutely, I think it’s a great asset,”State Park Superintendent Rich Preston told FOX40. “And we’ll continue to build that population of eagles here locally.”
Although trail repairs are stalled, environmental reviews and geotechnical studies may still move forward.
“There may be some buffers that we’ll have to stay away from in the area where the eagles are at,” Preston explained. “But we should be able to do some of the work further away from the eagles.”
Park officials remind the public to be respectful of the birds and steer clear of the area in order for the birds to flourish. If this eagle couple thrives, it may bring more eagles to the area in the future.