James, I emailed my contact in Inyo N.F. and was told that SAR members had already added some rocks along the trail there.
So the SAR team saw a benefit to building this line of rocks, they somehow managed to start it without a trail crew or train of mules, and they didn't see a need for special permission. I trust that judgment for a 6ft line of rocks you see all over the wilderness. Seems like common sense and it might save them from coming back to this area AGAIN to recover another dead body. Some of the 17,000 hikers using this trail every year just might appreciate this little safety feature.
But let's be real, its a frigging 6ft line of rocks you see lining trails at many of these critical locations IN THE WILDERNESS. The only problem is getting enough small rocks into the general area and aligning them. The Whitney Zone seems like a good site to post a map and some instructions for people who are solution oriented. We don't even need Mexico to pay for it.