The Environmental Impact of Cairn Making

The word”cairn” originates from the Scottish Gaelic meaning stone man. It is a symbol of faith, purpose and a spiritual journey. In the backcountry, cairn building is a trend, and it’s easy to understand why people are drawn to these sweet little stones that are balanced like child’s building blocks. With shoulders hurting and black flies buzzing around ears, hikers will examine the stones around her, and then try to select one that has the right mix of flatness and tilt, breadth and depth. After a few near misses (one that’s too bulgy and another that’s too small) the truest will select the one that’s set perfectly in place, and the next layer of the look at this web-site cairn becomes complete.

But what people do not realize is that cairn building can have an adverse environmental impact, especially when done close to water sources. When rock is removed from the shore of a river, pond or lake, it disturbs the ecosystem and degrades the habitat of microorganisms that feed the food chain. In addition that, these rocks can be transported by erosion to locations where they could inflict harm on humans or wildlife.

In light of this, the practice of making cairns should be avoided in areas that have rare or endangered reptiles, amphibians or mammals or plants and flowers that need moisture locked under the rocks. If you build a stone cairn in private land, it could violate federal and state regulations protecting the natural resources of the land. This could cause fines or even arrest.

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