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National Park Service: Don't move the rocks in Smokies streams!

Moving rocks in creeks and streams from their natural resting places can affect aquatic life in the waterways, according to the NPS.

Don't move the rocks!

That's the message from the National Park Service to visitors of Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Moving rocks in creeks and streams from their natural resting places can alter water flow and affect aquatic life in the waterways, according to the NPS. The agency touts an educational message it calls Don't Move Rocks.

The Park Service on its Facebok page said making dams or aligning rocks can hurt critters like the Hellbender, which live under the water.

Credit: NPS
The NPS discourages visitors from aligning or stacking rocks in streams.

"Children alone did not make these dams," the Park Service writes alluding to photos it has posted. "And while water can be powerful enough to move rocks, some man-made dams that we find will and do alter the stream ecology unless removed by hand.

"Species, like the Hellbender, can't afford to wait years and years for a river to return to normal."

It's better just to leave rocks in the streams and creeks as the park's millions of annual visitors find them. Nature can take care of itself, according to the Park Service.

Leaving the park as is helps preserves the Smokies and all the animals that call it home, according to the NPS.