The reasons why stone stacking may not be a good idea
We all have seen the multiple rock stacks that are crafted around the Yuba river and the way they are becoming increasingly ubiquitous.
What I did not know was that a movement to stop their advance has been in operation for many years.
A Cairn is actually a Gaelic word that means a “mound of stones built as a memorial or landmark.” In Scotland they became overused on mountains, where they were traditionally meant to show the way in very dangerous areas, but when they started popping up all along the path, the point had been lost.
Take nothing but photographs and leave nothing but footprints is a decent adage to adhere to when in nature. Leaving behind a stack of stones, no matter how cool or counterbalanced, does not exactly hold to this. It just reminds us that other people were here before us and is really an unnecessary marker of humanity, a pointless reminder of the human ego.
“… it’s not a harmless practice: Moving rocks increases erosion by exposing the soil underneath, allowing it to wash away and thin soil cover for native plants. Every time a rock is disturbed, an animal loses a potential home, since many insects and mammals burrow under rocks for protection and reproduction.”
The article goes into a lot more detail on this topic and is well worth a read.
The Ozark National Scenic River ways has a nice straightforward way of telling it…
“Please do not do this. Yes it looks cool, but why do you get to decide what the scenery should look like? Leave that to Momma Nature.”
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