The Environmental Impact of Cairn Making

The word”cairn” comes from the Scottish Gaelic meaning stone man. It can invoke images of faith, purpose, and the spiritual journey. In the backcountry, cairn building is something of a fad and it’s easy to understand why people feel drawn to these sweet little stones that are balanced like child’s building blocks. With shoulders aching and flies that are black buzzing in ears, hikers will examine the stones around her and try to choose one with the right amount of flatness and tilt as well as breadth and depth. After a few misses (one too large, another too small) An experienced person will pick the stone that is perfectly positioned. The second layer of the Cairn is now completed.

But what many people don’t know is that cairns can have a negative environmental impact, especially when it’s done near water sources. When rocks are removed from the edge of a how to choose a reliable vdr provider river, lake or pond, they can disrupt the ecosystem and eliminate the microorganisms’ habitats that provide the food chain. Additionally these rocks can be transported through erosion to areas in which they could cause harm to humans or wildlife.

For these reasons, the practice of building cairns should be discouraged in areas where there are endangered or rare reptiles, amphibians, or mammals or plants and flowers that need moisture locked under the rocks. If you build a stone cairn on private land it could be in violation of federal or state laws protecting the natural resources of the land and result in fines or even arrest.

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