‘Unsightly and unnatural’: Hikers to Australian park are told to stop building rock outcrops

Ranger Cathy Gatley found the small piles on a dry riverbed in Cania Gorge National Park.

Cathy Gatley / Queensland National Parks

Ranger Cathy Gatley found the small piles on a dry riverbed in Cania Gorge National Park.

“Just because you cairn, does not mean you should!”

This is the message from Queensland National Parks after dozens of boulders appeared on a trail in the Australian state.

Ranger Cathy Gatley found the small piles on a dry riverbed in the Cania Gorge National Park, located about 500 km northwest of Brisbane.

She told the ABC the stones are a form of vandalism and are “unsightly and unnatural”.

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“What was once a stone bed of sprouts is now bare ground, only with rock piles there. “Most of us go to national parks to really experience that scenery, and just like scratching your name in a tree, piles of rocks are seen as vandalism,” Gatley said.

She added that the rocks help absorb water and prevent runoff while also providing a habitat for many animals and plants, “it takes away that habitat and can also make animals more open to predators because they have fewer places to get away. to stab. “

Rock outcrops are historically used for navigation purposes when there is no obvious trail to follow.

In Australia, hikers who create rock piles face a fine of A $ 689, or more than NZ $ 750, for “building an unauthorized structure or working in parks”.

Queensland National Parks told hikers to Cania Gorge to “look outside which may be visually pleasing to some”.

“Notice how the dry sprout bed is now bare from its rock cover! All these stacked stones must be on the ground to serve their purpose.

“So, remember, just leave footprints when you visit our parks and forests!”

Rock outcrops are historically used for navigation purposes when there is no obvious trail to follow.

Cathy Gatley / Queensland National Parks

Rock outcrops are historically used for navigation purposes when there is no obvious trail to follow.

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