Stacking Stones Outlawed At Texas State Parks

Stacking Stones Outlawed At Texas State Parks

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Stacking Stones Outlawed At Texas State Parks

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To cairn or not cairn…that is the question. While some of us see stacking rocks as a harmless outdoor activity and others view it as detrimental to natural landscapes, Texas State Park officials have taken a hard stance when it comes to the creating cairns in its confines and has outlawed them. Dinosaur Valley State Park pointed out the prohibition last week in a mildly condescending social media post:

“While we are impressed by your rock stacking abilities, the building of rock cairns is not allowed. Doing so disturbs sensitive and critical wildlife habitats that rely on the rocks for protection.”

Some of you may point out that some cairns in state and national parks serve a practical purpose as waypoints for hikers and National Park Service agrees in THIS ARTICLE posted to NPS.gov. However, there’s plenty of evidence that trend to create artistic rock stacks encouraged by social media can have ill effect on natural surroundings. Whatever your viewpoint is on rock stacking, just remember when you’re in the Lone Star State they are not allowed.

RELATED:Why You Shouldn’t Stack Rocks In Wilderness Areas

One of our Park Rangers came across the while out hiking yesterday. Do you see what is wrong with this picture? 🤔
While we are impressed by your rock stacking abilities, the building of rock cairns is not allowed. Doing so disturbs sensitive and critical wildlife habitats that rely on the rocks for protection. This is even more serious during times of drought and low water levels just like we are experiencing here at the park. Wildlife are already isolated to specific areas of the river and streams when water levels drop, and the building of rock cairns destroys what habitats are left. This results in those wildlife species moving somewhere else causing a break in the ecosystem.
Wildlife such as aquatic macroinvertebrates specifically rely on these rocks for survival and protection. When the rocks are moved, it destroys and disturbs their home. Aquatic macroinvertebrates help indicate overall water quality, and are crucial to the freshwater ecosystems for other species such as fish. While their job and role in the environment becomes much harder during times of low water and drought, it becomes near impossible when rocks are removed to build rock cairns.
Help protect the river and stream ecosystems by leaving all rocks alone, not building rock cairns, and enjoying your time in the park by following Leave No Trace. ✅
For more information on aquatic macroinvertebrates and their crucial role, follow the link here: https://www.nps.gov/…/aquatic-macroinvertebrates…
TL;DR – The building of rock cairns (rock stacking) is not allowed inside Texas State Parks. This destroys and disturbs sensitive and crucial wildlife habitats found within the park. This can also cause confusion for other hikers and bikers out on the trails. Follow Leave No Trace and State Park Rules by leaving all rocks, fossils, plants, animals, and resources alone while visiting Dinosaur Valley.

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