The Environmental Impact of Cairn Making

Publicado em: 08/10/2023
Autor: yeti lab
Assunto: Sem categoria
Tempo de leitura: 1 minuto

The word cairn, from the Scottish Gaelic for stone man, can conjure up images of faith and the purpose of a spiritual journey. Cairn building is a popular activity in the backcountry. It’s not difficult to see why people are drawn to these little piles of flat stones that can be stacked like children’s blocks. With shoulders hurting and flies that are black buzzing in ears, a hiker will examine the stones around her, and then try to select one that has just the right mix of tilt and flatness along with depth and breadth. After a few near-misses (one too big, one too small) The solitary will select the stone which is perfect to fit. The second layer of the Cairn is completed.

But what people do not realize is that cairn-making can have an adverse environmental impact, especially when it is done near water sources. When rocks are removed from the shores of the shores of a lake, river or pond, they alter the ecosystem and destroy the microorganisms’ habitats that are the backbone of the food chain. Additionally the rocks could be transported by erosion to locations where they could inflict harm on wildlife or humans.

Cairn building should be avoided in areas that have rare or endangered mammals, reptiles, amphibians, or flowers or in areas where the moisture is locked under the rocks. If you build a rock cairn on private property, it could be in violation of federal and state regulations protecting the natural resources of the land. This could cause fines or even arrest.