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TheNAT Offers New San Diego Hiking Guide

Sunbelt Publications
The book jacket cover of "Coast to Cactus: The Canyoneer Trail Guide to San Diego Outdoors."

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TheNAT Offers New San Diego Hiking Guide
TheNAT Offers New San Diego Hiking Guide GUEST: Diana Lindsay, publisher/editor, "Coast to Cactus: The Canyoneer Trail Guide to San Diego Outdoors"

This is KPBS Midday Edition. I'm Maureen Cavanaugh. The San Diego natural history Museum opened a new permanent exhibit last year called coast to Cactus, it celebrates San Diego County's incredible range of habitat and biodiversity. Now it has gone one step farther, the museum is coming out with the new hiking guide to help people explore the areas represented in the exhibit it's called, "Coast to Cactus: The Canyoneer Trail Guide to San Diego Outdoors" . Joining me is Diana Lindsay publisher and lead editor of the new hiking guide and board member of the natural history Museum. Remind us about the coast to Cactus exhibit. It re-creates some of San Diego's most iconic environments doesn't? It opened up a couple of years ago at the San Diego natural history Museum and what is special about that is that it's an introduction to the various habitats and biodiversity of San Diego County the book is basically a play off on that it takes you into the field so you can experience it, you can come to the NAT and learn about the rich biodiversity of our region and take the guidebook and experience it out in the field. How did the idea developed to use this theme to create a trail guy? It was decades in the making. The concept originally was to have a field guide to introduce people to San Diego outdoors, and my own personal experience I have always seen that when I take folks out on the trail they become interested in what's around them if you explain to them what's there and then they want to come back and bring their friends. The concept was that not everyone is able to go on a canyon near hike, we want them to learn about the County. If they have a virtual can you near, and the essence of a guidebook they can kill -- take that canyon near and learn about it. That was the original idea of why we wanted to do that we wanted to help people understand about the environment and the diversity of the area and to want to be able to protect this area. You won't protect or love what you don't know, part of this is to teach them to learn to love the area. You've used this word and it's part of the title of the book, canyoneer, this was put together by Museum volunteers, what is the canyoneer? They are Museum volunteers who are citizens scientists trained by other volunteers and the curators in the museum. It is a program that actually any kind -- can join, and the fall they have a training program. Those are interested may actually sign-up at the museum to be, canyoneer. The program has been around for over 40 years and the canyoneer's lead free public walks throughout the entire County, there's a free brochure that you could get online or at the museum. The public is encouraged to come to learn about the outdoors and find out what's in their backyard. Now canyoneer's are behind this new book. There are lots of trails explored in this book. How many exactly? This book explores over 250 hiking options that are out there. Each of the trails has a map, there is a symbol with the height walks, telling what kind of habitats you will encounter on your height. There are nine different habitats that we have defined in the book, by looking at the symbols you can look for the kinds of plants and species. There are over 500 species detailed in the book, you can use this handbook to look for particular species that are found in the habitat. It's not only divided by habitat, it's organized by area. We wanted to make a book that was easy to use. We did not want to have a grid system, showing where trails were located. We wanted a logical system that was based on natural Andres. Our boundaries for the hike areas are actually bound by freeways and natural roads and natural barriers. If you know you want to go to an area you can have visualized in your head, on the edge of the book each of the coded areas arc coast, inland, North, mountain and desert they are color-coded to flip through. San Diegans may be familiar with the kinds of hikes, Iron Mountain, Torrey Pines, which can get crowded. There are many less known spots, tell us about some of the ones that stand out for you. We tried to find areas that are both the most popular and we also try to get a few areas that no one has seen before or they are brand-new. One that comes to mind, is Manchester there is a hike inland, North that you can go to that virtually don't know anything about, it's a very nice area. There is so much information in this book. In the section on hiking etiquette, it says people should leave only footprints and take only memories and photographs. What other rules should people abide by? You want to be very sensitive to cultural areas, where there may be a cultural pictographs or rock art, you want to make sure that you actually don't touch those, the oils in your hand can ruin pictographs. If you find a shard that belonged to the Indians that lived here in the past, you may want to look at it but put it back. It's extremely important to scientist and archaeologist to come to study these areas. You want to have a deep respect for the nature that you are seeing. Same with the animals, you don't want to capture or harm them, you want to learn about them and learn about the connection that we have to nature. The hiking guide, "Coast to Cactus: The Canyoneer Trail Guide to San Diego Outdoors" will come out next month and are the proceeds going back to NAT? Yes. It will support the museum. All volunteers have worked on this project and this book is providing an avenue of letting people know about the coast to Cactus exhibition, it is to let people know about the environment and to support the museum. I've been speaking with Diana Lindsay publisher and lead editor of "Coast to Cactus: The Canyoneer Trail Guide to San Diego Outdoors" .

The San Diego Natural History Museum last year opened the permanent exhibit "Coast to Cactus in Southern California," which celebrates the region's incredible range of habitat, climate and biodiversity.

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Now, theNAT has gone one step farther — literally.

In September, the museum will release a new hiking guide to areas represented in the exhibit.

"Coast to Cactus: The Canyoneer Trail Guide to San Diego Outdoors" offers more than 250 trails, maps, photographs and descriptions of habitats and species San Diegans may encounter on hikes. Proceeds will benefit the museum.

“This book has been more than a decade in the making — you could say it took the scenic route — and is now finally coming to fruition,” museum board member Diana Lindsay said in a statement.

“It has been a labor of love for many of the volunteers who contributed content and helped to fund the publication of the book. It allows each reader the opportunity to go on a hike with a virtual Canyoneer that will give them a 360 degree view of the flora, fauna, geology and cultural and historical aspects found along their path,” she said.

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Lindsay, who edited and published the book, told KPBS Midday Edition on Thursday that the guide includes popular and lesser-known areas, like the Manchester Preserve in Encinitas. She also offered some tips for hikers.

“Of course, you want to be very sensitive to cultural areas so where there maybe cultural pictographs or rock art, you want to make sure that you actually don't touch those,” Lindsay said. “Your oils in your hand can actually ruin pictographs. If you find, for instance, a shard that belonged to the Indians that lived here in the past, you may want to look at it but put it back in the same location. It's extremely important to scientists and archaeologist who come later to study these areas.”

Lindsay added, “You want to have a deep respect for the nature that you're actually seeing. Same with the animals, you don't want to capture them or harm them in anyway. You want to learn about them, learn about the connection that you have with nature.”