The word “cairn” comes from the Scottish Gaelic for stone man is a symbol of faith and the purpose of an enlightened journey. In the backcountry, cairn-making is a popular pastime and it’s easy to understand why people are attracted by these sweet little piles of flat rocks that are balanced like child’s building blocks. With shoulders aching and black flies buzzing around ears, a hiker will survey the stones before her and attempt to select one that has just the right mix of tilt and flatness, breadth and depth. After a few close-calls (one too big, one too small) An experienced person will select the stone that is perfect for the spot it’s placed. The second layer of the Cairn is now completed.
However, what a lot of people don’t know is that cairns can have an adverse environmental impact, particularly when it’s done near water sources. When rocks are removed from the edges of an ocean, a lake or pond, they can disrupt the ecosystem and destroy the habitat for microorganisms which are the backbone of the food chain. These rocks may be swept away from the edges of a pond or lake through erosion and end up in areas in which they could harm humans or wildlife.
For these reasons, the practice of constructing cairns should be avoided in areas where there are rare or endangered mammals, amphibians or reptiles or plants and flowers that require the water that is trapped under the rocks. And if you build an cairn on private property, it may violate federal and state regulations that protect the natural resources of http://cairnspotter.com/what-is-cairn-making the land and may result in fines or even arrest.