This sign and maps were posted during March 2000 on a new board next to the then still-open gate to the "seasonal" closure area.
Fort Funston - Bank Swallows February 2000
New Protection Measures for Bank Swallows at Fort Funston
WHAT: As part of the resource protection mission of the National Park Service, a small portion of north Fort Funston will soon be closed to the public. This action will protect habitat for nesting bank swallows; however it will still allow beach access for hiking and dog walking. The area will be fenced with a four-foot mesh fence that will keep out pets and visitors, but will maintain an open view of the cliff area and the coast.
WHERE: Lying north of the beach trail above Battery Davis and west of the Coastal Trail, the six-acre area is bounded on the north by the currently protected bank swallow habitat. Much of this land will remain open to visitors for seasonal use from approximately August to mid-March when the swallows return to nest. This will include the majority of the two hills currently used for a variety of recreational activities. Access to the beach trail north of Battery Davis and the vista point area just north of the beach trail will remain open year-round.
WHY: The winter storms of 1997 and 1998 eroded the protected cliff area where the bank swallow colony had traditionally nested. Park biologists tracked their movement to the unprotected cliff areas immediately to the south and, because the swallows are a threatened species in the State of California, determined the new nesting sites also need protection. This colony of bank swallow is one of only two remaining coastal cliff dwelling colonies in all of California. Therefore, it is important to protect the colony in its new nesting area.
WHEN: The park will begin fencing the area in mid-February 2000. However, the seasonal portion of the closure area will remain open by way of a series of gates until the first swallows return in the March/April timeframe. The seasonal area will then be closed until the swallows leave in August. Outreach activities conducted by park staff, including handouts, press releases and signs, will notify visitors when the closure will go into effect.
If you have questions regarding these protection measures, please call the office of Public Affairs and Special Events at (415) 561-4730.