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Rock stacking craze has been slammed by Queensland environmentalists over its harmful impacts

Insanely popular social media fad seen in Australia’s national parks is labeled destructive and harmful by environmentalists

  • Popular rock-stacking craze that is known to have been crushed by Queensland environmentalists
  • Queensland National Parks said trend should be seen as vandalism
  • Hundreds of ‘rock men’ photographed in Cania Gorge National Park
  • The national park is located 140 km west of Bundaberg
  • A Penalty Violation Notice (PIN) can be issued, as well as fines of $689

A rock-piling craze that has become popular on social media has been labeled as destructive and harmful by environmentalists.

Queensland National Parks recently posted on Facebook its concern about the trend of cairn building becoming ‘a problem in many parks’, describing it as an act of vandalism.

The photos show hundreds of the rock stacks in a ‘devastated’ dry creek bed in Cania Gorge National Park, 140km west of Bundaberg in central Queensland.

The popular craze of rock-piling has been labeled by environmentalists as destructive and harmful (pictured, cairns along the creek bed in Cania Gorge National Park)

The popular craze of rock-piling has been labeled by environmentalists as destructive and harmful (pictured, cairns along the creek bed in Cania Gorge National Park)

“Look beyond what may be visually appealing to some, notice how the dry stream bed is now denuded of its rock cover… All these stacked rocks should be on the ground to serve their purpose,” the park organization said in the post. .

“Rock cairns have traditionally been used as navigation aids where there is no clear track to follow…when used for this purpose, the custom is respected.”

The organization said the rocks play a critical role in preventing soil erosion, helping to absorb water and providing habitat for plants and animals, functions disrupted by the piles’ construction.

QPWS Rangers can issue a Penalty Infringement Notice (PIN) to anyone who builds an unauthorized structure or works in parks, with fines of $689.

Ranger Cathy Gatley of the Department of Environment was out recently and took the photos.

Department of Environment ranger Cathy Gatley believes the clusters of cairns (pictured) were created and built upon by various tourists over time

Department of Environment ranger Cathy Gatley believes the clusters of cairns (pictured) were created and built upon by various tourists over time

Mrs. Gatley said: Yahoo News Australia that these cairns are “certainly the worst” she’s ever seen in the park.

“So what seems like, you know, a harmless activity actually has a free-flowing effect.”

Ms. Gatley believes that the clusters of cairns were created and built by various tourists over time.

“Someone sees one and then thinks, ‘Oh, I’m doing one too’.”

She said the Department of Environment (DES) will begin tearing down the structures in the coming weeks and will try to rehabilitate the creek bed.

A fern pond in Cania Gorge National Park, 140km west of Bundaberg

A fern pond in Cania Gorge National Park, 140km west of Bundaberg

Things to consider next time you think about rock stacking (published by Queensland National Parks)

  • Doing one can encourage others to make them too
  • You might like it look but the next person might find it pushy and ugly
  • Stones in creek beds help the soil absorb water by preventing runoff
  • Stones and rocks help stop erosion along creeks and hiking trails
  • Scattered rocks provide a critical habitat and refuge for many plants and animals

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