Why Are Scientists Asking Hikers to Stop Stacking Rocks?
If you've been out on a hiking trail lately you've you've probably noticed them. Suddenly popping up everywhere. Small intentionally stacked piles of rocks. Called Cairns and environmentalists worldwide are increasingly increasingly alarmed because moving rocks can have numerous unintended consequences for insects animals. And even the land itself people have been in stacking rocks since the dawn of time typically four directional or burial purposes such structures have been found in Greenland Northern Canada and Alaska and were built by Anita People's for specific purposes like navigation to indicate a food source or to warn of danger. More recently park officials began creating them on hiking trails else especially potentially confusing pads to help ensure that hikers don't get lost in eighteen ninety six a man named Waldron Bates created a specific civic style of hiking Karen in Acadia National Park. The Bates Cairns as they became known consisted of a rectangular stone balanced top two legs and then topped opt with one stone pointing to the trail. These Cairns were replaced by standard ones in the nineteen fifties and sixties but the park began rebuilding the historic Bates Cairns in the nineteen ninety S. Acadia no contains a mixture of both. What's concerning scientists? Today is the new practice of creating rock piles as an art. Form form or for alluring social media posts because stacking rocks is not an innocuous practice many insects and mammals head under rocks to live reproduce reduce or just escape. They're predators so move a rock and you might destroy a home stack a few. And you may have just exposed the hunted to their hunters. And and while that may sound melodramatic whether you're stacking rocks in the woods on the beach or in the desert your actions could inadvertently knock out an entire colony. Or in the worst case scenario threaten and endangered species some rock stacking fans note that they're being responsible by returning their rocks to the spots where they found them after after creating and then disassembling artwork however the second move rocks you may compromise species habitat in an unrecoverable manner. In addition moving rocks in any fashion contributes to soil erosion as the dirt ones protectively packed under them is now loosened and more prone to washing or blowing away. Why should you come upon? Stacked rocks especially in national parks. Leave him alone. And if you're hiking don't automatically follow where they seemed point. The National Park Service recommends checking with Park officials before setting out on a hike as every park has different rules about kearns. You wouldn't want to remove those intentionally set as navigational AIDS nor would you want to follow those. That may have been randomly. If artistically assembled by visitors in the end let your actions be guided by the important principle principle. Leave no trace.