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The Environmental Impact of Cairn Making

The word “cairn” comes from the Scottish Gaelic for stone man can invoke images of faith and motive, of the spiritual journey. In the backcountry, making cairns is a trend and it’s simple to understand why people feel attracted to these cute little piles of flat rocks that are balanced as child’s building blocks. With shoulders aching and black flies buzzing through ears, hikers will survey the stones before her, and then try to select one with the right balance of flatness and tilt in depth, breadth and width. After a few missed opportunities (one too bulgy, one too small), a purist will select the stone which is perfect to fit. The second layer of the Cairn is now completed.

But what many people don’t realize is that cairn-making can have an adverse environmental impact, especially when it’s done near water sources. When rock is removed from the edges of a pond, river or lake, it dishevels the ecosystem and destroys the habitat of microorganisms that feed the food chain. These rocks may also be swept away from the edges of a pond, river or lake due to erosion. They can end up in places where they could inflict harm on humans or wildlife.

For these reasons, the practice of cairn making should be avoided in areas with rare or endangered mammals, amphibians or reptiles or plants and flowers that need water that is trapped under the rocks. And if you build an cairn on private property it could violate the federal and state laws protecting the land’s natural resources. This may result in fines or even a detention.

http://cairnspotter.com/data-room-software-keeps-growing-but-no-one-company-is-dominating

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