The Prescott National Forest is closing the Ladder’s bald eagle breeding area along the Verde River to the public starting Wednesday. The closure is expected to last through June 30th, when the bald eagle breeding season ends. Should nesting fail and re-nesting not be attempted, the closure will be opened early. The special closure is necessary to reduce human disturbances to the eagles during their breeding season. The possible consequences of people disturbing nesting eagles include abandonment of eggs and loss of young. All recreational uses of the area such as hunting, fishing, and hiking are prohibited during the closure period. Drone operators are asked to avoid the area completely. The closure area is south of Camp Verde and it includes a two-mile section of the Verde River and adjacent National Forest lands in the vicinity of the “Verde Falls” downstream to below the confluence with Sycamore Canyon. River rafters may pass on the river in the closure area but are restricted from stopping, taking out watercraft, or delaying their passage through the area except as needed to scout rapids and for emergencies. Signs are posted along the river to mark the closure boundaries. Violation of the closure is punishable by a fine of not more than $500 or no more than six months in jail, or both.