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2/9/2018
Kodiak board supports painted rocks

KODIAK (AP) — Kodiak park officials decided not to ban a nationwide craze of painting rocks and leaving them to be found by others.

The Kodiak State Parks Citizens Advisory Board on Monday voted to instead support the rocks that began popping up last year, the Kodiak Daily Mirror reported.

The board discussed the issue following a complaint filed Jan. 8 with Kodiak's State Parks office, which stated that the painted rocks left in Fort Abercrombie should be considered litter and be prohibited.

Acting Chief Park Ranger Ben Shryock previously said painted rocks are not included by name in the State Parks definition of litter, but he said exactly what constitutes as litter is open to interpretation. Shryock said the community is largely supportive of the practice, which was shown at the board's meeting on the issue when the six members of the public in attendance all supported the rock-hiding game.

"We decided it enhances the visitor experience without detracting from the natural aspects of the park," said Larry Van Daele, a member of the advisory board. "We didn't consider that to be litter, because it's natural stuff and (the painted rocks) are meant to be picked up. People often put their name on them, too — you don't usually do that with litter."

The board did, however, clarify that no items such as sticky eyes should be placed on the rocks.

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Information from: Kodiak (Alaska) Daily Mirror, http://www.kodiakdailymirror.com