I didn't take any pictures on our drive, because ho-hum, same old Turnagain Arm (ha!). That's how you know you've been in Alaska for a good little while. Also, it was super hazy because of all the smoke from the Funny River Fire down on the Kenai Peninsula (now at over 123,000 acres). But it was still a good day for a drive.
We drove all the way to Portage, the site of a once-visible but now disappearing glacier, and found a stream bed with lots of beautiful round rocks. We gathered a whole bunch of rocks, and were just deciding whether we wanted to try to collect some lupines or some fiddle head ferns when a man pulled up. "Are you two removing those rocks?" he asked. "Uh....yeah...." we responded. "Hmmm. Okay." He glared at us and drove off.
Now, I'm not sure if we missed some sort of rule about rock collecting. But the stream looked like this (not my picture, but this is a very similar stream in the area).
We followed the rules of wild harvesting, which state that you shouldn't collect more than 30% of what you're harvesting to allow it to recover. Obviously, there's no way we collected 30% of the rocks. But additionally, even if we had collected all the rocks (which would have been a feat!), guess what? See those mountains in the background? They are made of...you guessed it...rock! More rocks will come from the mountains to replace the ones we took!
I'm not sure what that guy's problem was. Maybe he was mad because he just paid a fortune to have a company in town deliver rocks to him (as my friend pointed out "Where does he think those rocks come from?"). But anyway, we decided not to do any more wild harvesting and call it a day.
|My rocks, awaiting placement around the beds.|
Now I have a yard full of wild rocks lining my new native flower bed I want to create. And somewhere out there, there's an angry man telling his friends "I saw two ladies stealing ROCKS from the river!"