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Thread: "Dont build Cairns" say BLM and Nat'l Park officials say.

  1. #1

    "Dont build Cairns" say BLM and Nat'l Park officials say.

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    SALT LAKE CITY Many Utahns are flocking to the outdoors for summer hiking and exploring, but some are leaving behind unwanted and confusing cairns and officials are asking them to stop.

    Cairns are rock piles used to designate or delineate trails and many national parks and public lands officials use them to give hikers guidance. However, BLM Utah spokesperson Megan Crandall said there is a growing problem of visitors building their own cairns.

    "There seems to have been an uptick as we have seen an increase in visitation to public lands," Crandall said. "When someone comes along and builds (a cairn) for fun or to mark a side trail or for whatever other reason, it can confuse other hikers. And that can be a real problem in the desert. The land here can be very unforgiving and at the end of the day if you've been hiking a long way, cairns can start to look alike, trails can start to look alike. And that can lead to a very bad outcome."

    Crandall said she isn't aware of a specific report of a hiker being lost due to following unsanctioned cairns, but she wants visitors to stop building them to prevent bad situations on public lands.

    "Recreate, but don't build," Crandall said. "Similarly, we also ask that people not knock down the ones that are presently up either. That can be dangerous and problematic."

    Arches National Park officials have also seen a growing problem with visitor-built cairns, prompting them to issue a statement on July 21.

    "Cairns may look like whimsical rock sculptures, but they are actually important way-finding tools built by rangers to facilitate navigation of park trails," the statement said. "Visitor-built cairns can lead people off-trail, damage biological soil crust and cause visual clutter. Help promote visitor safety and park health by leaving the cairn building to rangers."

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Heart: Escalante. Reality: AZ.
    Incredibly, an edict that makes sense. I've actually been knocking down a lot of cairns recently. The proliferation is getting to be of European style litter. It is obscene over there.

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    I never thought for one minute that Rangers built cairns. Nope. Totally surprised, I am. Actually - its impossible! Rangers work for a bureaucracy. Bureaucracies like order. Cairns are not orderly.

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