Tourists take state park rocks despite warnings

APACHE JUNCTION – Arizona law prohibits visitors from taking vegetation and rocks from state parks to preserve nature for other visitors and future generations.

“If everyone took one rock, well pretty soon there wouldn’t be many rocks left,” said Diana Bishop, a ranger at Lost Dutchman State Park. “We ask that they just leave everything in place as they find it.”

Bishop said courts determine the amount of the fine.

“We try to tell people when they come in what the rules are and also we give out brochures with a map and it has regulations on it,” Bishop said.

Unaware of the law, one Canadian couple recently walked out of the park carrying a hat filled with rocks for their collection.

Nicole Cloutreer and Roger Vanier of Quebec, Canada travel from state to state taking rocks
and painting designs on the stones to remind them of their visit.

“You can paint a word, you can put love, health,” Cloutreer says of their collection.

Cloutreer says her Pinterest inspired hobby has taken her to Texas, California and now, Arizona.

The rocks remind them of the beauty of Arizona.

“When the sun goes down on the rock in back of you, it’s a beautiful, beautiful thing,” Vanier said.