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Turn Down Your Volume Near Old-Growth Forests In Redwoods National Park


Shhhhhhhh! That's the urging at Redwoods National Park in California, where officials intend to ban loud music within 500 feet of old-growth forests during part of the year.

The goal is to avoid disturbing federally protected bird species such as the Marbled murrelet and Spotted owl that nest in the forests.

"Current research has shown that Marbled Murrelets and Northern Spotted Owls, which nest almost exclusively in old-growth forests, are sensitive to noise disturbance during the nesting season. Disturbance has been found to cause nest abandonment and/or failure in these species," notes the superintendent's 2014 compendium, which is now open for public comments.

With hopes of not disturbing these birds while nesting, the park plans to prohibit "(T)he use of a radio, CD player, or other device with an external speaker that generates music or amplifies noise at levels exceeding those of normal conversation in, or within 500 feet of old growth forests..." from February 1 through September 15.

The compendium defines old-growth forest: "a mature forest with a multi-species canopy dominated by large over-story trees."

Along the same lines, the park is closing Redwood Creek within the park's boundaries to motorized boats because the noise can disturb nesting murrelets and spotted owls.

No word on limiting motorcyle noise.


Sounds like a great time to visit, IMHO.

So let me get this straight, a visitor traveling on the highway on a street legal (but noisy) motorcycle listening to music on his cd player as he drives (or stops in a parking area) becomes an instant criminal to the NPS because he passes within 500' (potentially right through) of an old growth forest which he/she might not even know exists. This proposal is a sad misinterpretation of the UFWS guidance on evaluating noise harassment of the two species.

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