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New Report Sounds Alarm On Sea Level Rise, San Diego Missing Out On Pot Boom, Problems With CalGang Database Continue And Celebrating Anza-Borrego State Park

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A new report from the California Legislative Analyst’s Office warns about the impact sea level rise could have on the state’s economy and housing supply. It says 100,000 housing units would need to be built annually to make up for housing that will be lost by a rising sea. Plus, after the legalization of cannabis in California, supporters said it would be a boom to the state’s economy, but that promise remains largely unfulfilled in San Diego. Also, a state law is designed to make it easier for people to get off the state’s CalGang database. To date, few have been removed. And, Anza-Borrego Desert State Park is the subject of a new book celebrating the natural history of the region.

Speaker 1: 00:00 You are listening to midday edition. I'm Alison st John. It's already common knowledge that the longer we wait to prepare for sea level rise, the more expensive it will be. A new report out of the California legislative analyst's office has some sobering news about how local governments are preparing and how sea level rise will affect our communities, including how it will complicate our already critical housing shortage. Our guest is Rachel Eylers from the California legislative analyst's office and the lead author of the report. Rachel, thanks for joining us.

Speaker 2: 00:31 Thanks so much for having me.

Speaker 1: 00:32 So I noticed that your report contains graphs of which parts of the state risk, the highest sea level rise and San Diego is at the top of the list. How high does, does your report estimate? We could see sea level rise within 10 years?

Speaker 2: 00:45 Well, within 10 years, the scientists actually have a relative certainty, at least comparatively. Uh, it's looking like about between half a foot and a foot, more or less around the state and including San Diego. We have greater uncertainty as the years get further. But uh, also the potential for the high sea levels gets more and more

Speaker 1: 01:08 and uh, San Diego is expecting higher sea level rises than say San Francisco even

Speaker 2: 01:13 slightly. Yeah.

Speaker 1: 01:14 Now San Diego and of course the state as a whole is in the midst of a housing crisis. And your report suggests California would need to start building 100,000 more housing units annually and coastal cities to mitigate the problems caused by sea level rise. I know that here we need between 10 and 20,000 a year and we've only issued about 7,000 housing permits this year. So how could the sea level rise affect our housing goals? That's not something we thought about much till now.

Speaker 2: 01:40 Yeah, I mean it really complicates things because if you look at a land where we might be able to build housing and, and is undeveloped right now and looks like a good spot for, for adding some units, a lot of that land could potentially flood. So that takes it out of consideration or perhaps should take it out of consideration. And then some of our existing stock, uh, for housing right now also faces the likelihood of flooding in future years. So it really constrains the availability of, of where we could build housing at a time when the state is really focusing on that as a goal to try and address some of our housing shortage and housing affordability challenges.

Speaker 1: 02:19 What are your estimates of how many housing units could get taken out of commission?

Speaker 2: 02:23 You know, we haven't done that kind of kind of estimate. I don't know that anyone has, but I think that's probably information that really should start being part of the conversation at this point.

Speaker 1: 02:33 Well, it's interesting because we've already seen the real estate sector resist any attempt to make it more public. How sea level rise could affect property along the coast because it would affect the, the, the values. But your report is calling on a local governance to, to require this information to be part of any kind of real estate transaction in the future. Right?

Speaker 2: 02:54 Yeah, I mean, in fact we're actually recommending that the state legislature, uh, have that requirement statewide. We do have disclosures right now for risks like earthquakes and uh, uh, for wildfires. So we think this is pretty consistent and in fact, there's actually more certainty that we will as a state experience some sea level rise than for example, earthquakes, which we don't know the certainty. So we think it's important information for a buyers and sellers to have, uh, because there is, you know, kind of a lack of public awareness at this point of the risks that we're facing.

Speaker 1: 03:30 So, so that's for houses that already exist. But as you mentioned, there's the areas where new development might be going up. Is there much evidence that local governments are still permitting developments and land, which could be flooded within the century?

Speaker 2: 03:44 I think because it is so much uncertainty at this point and, and lack of awareness both from the public as well as public officials, it just feels like something that's really far off right now. And, uh, local governments are trying to make decisions and respond to the challenges in front of them. So I don't think it is as much of a part of the conversation and planning as it really needs to be. So that's one of the, um, areas of focus of this report is to try and increase the public awareness that though this feels like something that's far off, it's actually something that's coming sooner than we would then we think. And we really need to take it into account in our, in our planning discussions and decisions.

Speaker 1: 04:23 Now your report puts much of the responsibility for dealing with this crisis on local government, but isn't it incumbent on the state to play a pretty significant role? I mean, how much money is the stadium MOC to help local governments adapt?

Speaker 2: 04:36 Yeah. You know, most of the land use decisions across the state have always lain with local governments and, and there's no indication that anyone wants to change that at this point. So, uh, the state, however, as you noted, has a really important role as well. So in our recommendations to the legislature, it's really focusing on how can the state support local governments in making their decisions and doing the preparation. And some of that is providing funding, uh, to help with planning, uh, coordination and also with providing resources and research and technical assistance from the state level so that local governments don't feel that they're in this on their own and everyone's having to recreate the wheel around the state. So we think the state can play an important role. But again, most of those decisions have always been invested with local governments.

Speaker 1: 05:28 Your report does state some sums of money in the tens of millions that the state is willing to spend. Are you recommending that the state weigh in with some more help?

Speaker 2: 05:36 Yeah, we found it, you know, it's roughly 70 million over the past five years that the state has provided for some of the planning and preparation activities that have been undertaken thus far. But yeah, that is one of the themes of our report is, is greater investment from the state, uh, in supporting local governments, both in the planning and especially planning across jurisdictions, but also in really doing the work to start implementing some projects and see what works. So we can test some of these strategies. Uh, and, and pair state funding with local funding to try and get some more going on the ground to see what works before the water levels are so high that immediate action needs to be undertaken.

Speaker 1: 06:20 Right. Well, speaking of strategies, you define three options of how people could respond, either building walls or barriers which we've seen or making buildings adapt so they can accommodate regular flooding or relocating buildings further away from the ocean. Do you actually recommend any particular strategy?

Speaker 2: 06:37 I mean, we think local governments are going and the state as well are been in need to use all of these strategies, uh, depending on the situation. And another thing that, that folks should consider is, is using a combination at different times depending on what the situation is. So maybe some of the, uh, protecting or armoring, not maybe not walls, but potentially, uh, building up sand dunes, building up wetlands, some of the soft armoring approaches that could help buffer waves in the coming decades. W which could help by time before we need some of the more drastic, uh, more difficult, um, approaches which probably will be needed too. Such as relocating key infrastructure

Speaker 1: 07:23 a lot to think about. So thank you so much for your report, Rachel.

Speaker 2: 07:26 I thank you for having me to discuss it.

Speaker 1: 07:28 That's Rachel ALS from the California legislative analyst's office.

Speaker 3: 07:36 [inaudible].

Speaker 1: 00:00 Two years ago, California legalized the purchase and sale of recreational marijuana. Since then, the state has collected hundreds of millions of dollars in taxes from the cannabis industry as part of our series, high hopes California's pot experiment. KPBS Metro reporter Andrew Bowen examined where the money goes and why San Diego gets less than other big cities. So how are you feeling?

Speaker 2: 00:25 I am doing well today.

Speaker 3: 00:26 Thanks so much for coming. David Mancala is meeting with a counselor at family health centers of San Diego. He's in their intensive outpatient program for drug addicts. Do you currently have a sponsor? Yes. How did you meet him or her? A few years ago, Mancado was a homeless meth user who frequently got arrested. Things changed when someone from family health centers visited him in jail. They convinced him to enroll in a program run by the city attorney's office, focused on breaking the cycle of incarceration for low level drug offenders. When he was released, Moncada got a ride directly from jail to the health clinic. He says from there they made it easy.

Speaker 2: 01:04 Their access with centralized. So they made my, uh, appointments with my therapist. They made my appointment with my psychologist. He made point, uh, to get a physical. So I started getting back into the health plan. There's no way I would've picked up the phone at the time and been like, I need to make an appointment and I'm not going to stay on hold.

Speaker 3: 01:19 It's this kind of intense handholding that Moncada says helped him stick with his recovery and it's the kind of work. Family health centers will soon do more of thanks to a $300,000 grant funded by California's cannabis taxes. The grants were promised as part of the 2016 ballot measure that legalized pot, and they're prioritized in communities most harmed by the nation's decades long war on drugs. But despite sales of recreational pot being legal for two years, many of these programs have been delayed because of lack of funding. The state is missing out on tremendous amounts of tax revenue. Dalen young is political director for the association of cannabis professionals. The industry estimates up to 80% of California's pot retailers are unlicensed and untaxed young says, the main reason for this are the bands or severe restrictions on legal sales imposed by local governments. So right

Speaker 4: 02:15 there, that creates a lot of access deserts. So patients cannot get access to, to any of these products.

Speaker 3: 02:21 Their jurisdictions don't allow them. Cannabis shops are notoriously difficult and costly to open. In San Diego, the city has fewer than 20 licensed retailers open for business. Denver has more than eight times that number with less than half of San Diego's population. Young says, if San Diego wants more cannabis tax revenue, it has to allow more businesses to participate in the legal market.

Speaker 4: 02:44 So I, I think that, uh, it's, it's very prudent for our local governments to take out the moral judgment of whether or not cannabis is right or wrong, good or bad, and focus on the benefits that could be gained from this type of revenue. That th that the state is going to be, uh, to these communities

Speaker 3: 03:00 about that grant program that San Diego County didn't compete very well. It received 1.2 $5 million. Meanwhile, other large Metro areas including LA, Sacramento and Oakland got between three and seven times as much money per capita. Delane young says local officials could have done more to drum up interest in the program.

Speaker 4: 03:20 Well we haven't seen quite the leadership that we need, um, throughout the entire County to really inform, uh, the nonprofit groups that are doing the work that, uh, that grant program would facilitate with their not communicating with them, I don't feel like, and they're not really pushing them to move up to um, apply for those grants.

Speaker 3: 03:37 Person for San Diego county's public health department said the agency considered applying for the grants but opted not to because of restrictions on how the money could be spent.

Speaker 2: 03:46 As soon as I took that first hit of marijuana, I knew I was an addict because it helped me, uh, with the struggle of losing my dad when I was a young kid.

Speaker 3: 03:54 It's a little ironic that David Mancado, his path to addiction started with marijuana and now the legal pot industry is funding programs to help people like him stay off drugs. But non cotta is fine with it.

Speaker 2: 04:07 The funding should be there. You know, once the people get into recovery and they get stabilized, third less likely to, uh, be, uh, offensive cause to get them incarcerated.

Speaker 3: 04:17 Tune in tomorrow for a look at cannabis equity programs, which aimed to help disadvantaged populations share in the profits from legalized cannabis. Andrew Bowen and KPBS news. Each day. This week we'll be bringing you a new story about the impact of cannabis legislation to see all the stories in our series go to

Speaker 1: 00:00 Three years have passed since assembly bill 2298 written by San Diego assembly members. Surely Weber became law. It gives people the right to challenge their name being in Cal gang, which is a database used by law enforcement to document suspected gang members. During the first year, the law went into effect. There were 16 removal requests. Only one was granted. That's according to the DOJ and a follow up report showed that of the 53 requests between November, 2017 and October, 2018 only 11 were granted. Kelly Davis voice of San Diego contributor reports. Cal gang holds 88,000 names with few people requesting removal and even fewer finding success. Kelly, thanks for joining us. Oh, thank you. The Cal gang database has come under criticism for including errors. There have been reports of people being added without supporting evidence and without their knowledge and critics have also said the database lacks oversight. How did assembly woman, Shirley Weber's legislation aim to address those concerns?

Speaker 1: 01:04 So, probably the biggest issue with Cal gang prior, prior to Shirley Weber's legislation was that people had no way of knowing if they'd been added to the database. So, so what, uh, Shirley Weber did, um, and, and, and her, she's coming from the experience of, of her own son was, uh, threatened by police, uh, to be added to Cal gang. So, so she authored legislation that, among other things that requires law enforcement agencies to notify someone when they're added to Cal gang. And it also created a process for anyone in the database to ask to be removed. And, um, being in Cal gang, that itself isn't a crime. It doesn't mean that a person has committed a crime, but critics say that it effectively criminalizes people [inaudible] an entry will include a person's photo description of, of what they might be seen wearing scars, tattoos, names and addresses of family and friends, information about social media accounts.

Speaker 1: 01:58 Um, so it's, it's pretty intrusive and it's not supposed to be used to conduct background checks, but there's evidence that it has been used for that purpose. What type of background checks are we talking or employment? Military. Um, there there's been some lawsuits about Cal gang being used, um, yeah. To, to check on, on folks applying for jobs or, or, uh, signing up for the military. Now the process to ask to be removed from the gang database has been described as inaccessible and ineffective. Can you explain the removal process? What's that like? So, uh, yeah, the urban peace Institute, which is a criminal justice reform group based in LA, uh, earlier this year they issued a report highlighting some of the challenges people have faced when they've asked to be removed. So, so what happens, the first step is a person will make a request in writing and law enforcement is supposed to respond and provide evidence for why that person's in Calgary.

Speaker 1: 02:52 But what the urban peace Institute found is that some agencies won't respond at all. Um, there were supposed to respond within 30 days. If they don't, it's, it's considered kind of a default denial, but that doesn't always necessarily mean that the request is being denied. It could mean that the agency just doesn't have a policy in place for how to respond. Um, some law enforcement agencies ask people to come in for an interview, um, and that's not required an insurer, Lee rubbers law and, um, kind of the bottom line, uh, critics of this process say is that law enforcement agencies have to prove by clear and convincing evidence that a person is currently an active gang member. Um, but attorneys, you know, representing folks trying to get out of kegging and they're saying that that their, their clients aren't being provided with this evidence or the attorneys aren't being allowed to challenge this evidence.

Speaker 1: 03:44 And, and so, um, bottom line is there's a lot of confusion over what this removal process is supposed to look like. Advocates working with those who've requested removal. Say it's rare law enforcement can even prove the person is an active gang member as required by law. You highlight Tyrone Simmons case as an example of that, right? So, so Tyron Simmons who lives in San Diego, he was one of the first people to challenge his Cal gang status in court after AB two, two, nine, eight took effect. And, um, he was documented when he was 21. He admits that he got into some trouble in his early twenties, but then he turned his life around. He got a college degree, he started his own business. He helps run a charity that holds, um, fundraisers and back to school drives to provide low income kids with backpacks and haircuts. So you know, very much an upstanding citizen and he wants to be a role model for youth.

Speaker 1: 04:38 Um, but his request to be removed from Cal gang was denied. And so the next step, uh, was he filed a petition in court and I attended those hearings last year. And, and, uh, I mean police couldn't provide any evidence to show that Mr. Simmons was currently an active gang member. Um, and they kind of ultimately deferred to San Diego police departments practice of keeping it people in Cal gang for at least five years. And so in 2014, Mr. Simmons had been stopped, uh, leaving, uh, an Easter party with a, as police put it, a known Lincoln park gang member, um, that known Lincoln park gay member was, was Aaron Harvey, Mr. Simmons friend. Uh, and, and you know, a lot of San Diego's might recognize Aaron's name. Um, cause he's been very active in trying to reform gang laws. He's actually a student at UC Berkeley right now and, and, um, you know, he, he's, he's suing the San Diego police department and gang detectives for civil rights violations, um, stemming from his arrest in June, 2014.

Speaker 1: 05:44 Um, you know, so, so Aaron Harvey's really become a community leader on this issue. And it was interesting that this is the guy that, that Tyrone was in the car with, you know, that the police are using to, to prove active gang members status from the law enforcement perspective. Is there any evidence the database is an effective tool to help police solve crime? So law enforcement says, yes, it's a necessary tool. You know, it helps them, uh, solve gang-related crimes. Uh, but, uh, Sean Garcia leis, he's a attorney with urban peace Institute whom I spoke to and he said he'd really like to see the, the state department of justice spend the next year looking at how gay, how Cal gang is actually used. Um, you know, do, do a kind of rigorous study and take that information to make policy changes. Um, so, you know, he says, yeah, Cal gang is supposed to be used for criminal investigations, but let's look at examples of when did Cal gang help police solve a crime?

Speaker 1: 06:42 Um, and you know, when police are searching the database to help solve a crime, who are they pulling up? What are those searches have in common? And kind of try to piece together, you know, what would be the most effective, um, public safety minded use of Cal gang rather than just cramming in, you know, tens of thousands of names based on, you know, what folks say is, is flimsy evidence. There have been revisions made to Cal gang guidelines that will be completed by January. Can you talk about some of those changes? So some of those revisions, um, address issues that, that folks have raised that, you know, kind of criminalize people who live in, in neighborhoods that are considered, you know, gain territory. So if you're associating with someone who's believed to be a gang member, that's no longer criteria to be entered. Um, if you're simply in an area that police considered to be a gang name Daver hood, that's no longer criteria and uh, no one under 13 can be added to Cal gang.

Speaker 1: 07:41 But as you point out in your story, those revisions don't address the process to get removed from the database. Is that right? Correct, yeah. Critics of, of Cal gang, we're hoping for some clarity on the removal process. Um, and there was a technical advisory committee that provided a lot of input and you know, this issue was brought up quite often in those committee hearings, but ultimately the guidelines don't really get to the removal process. So after talking with assemblywoman Weber, is this an issue she plans to revisit? Uh, yeah. She told me that after the first of the year she'd like to convene some sort of forum. Um, she's not sure what that will look like, but somewhere where people can provide testimony about how Cal gang reforms are working, what they'd like to see changed or not change. And she said she'd like to specifically look at the removal process. I've been speaking with Kelly Davis contributor with voice of San Diego. Thank you very much, Kelly. Thank you.

Speaker 1: 00:01 You don't have to travel far to get to California is the largest state park, the huge Anza Borrego state parks, Fred's from San Diego County to Riverside and into the Imperial Valley. And once inside visitors are often surprised to see the variety of plants and animals that thrive in the parks. Desert setting a new book by authors, Mike Wells and Marie Simovich celebrates the unique look and landscape of the park. It's called a natural history of Anza Borrego region then and now, welcome to you both. Hello. Hi. Hi there. So this book evolved from a course you both taught at USD. Marie, can you give us an overview of what was covered in that course?

Speaker 2: 00:40 Yeah. Wow. It was a little bit of everything. Um, we started out talking about the physical nature of the area, how it started out being under the Pacific ocean and as the Earth's plates collided, mountains were built and those mountains changed the physical structure of the area. They changed the drainage, they changed the climate, and it went from being an ocean to a Delta, to a terrestrial area of lakes and streams. And then later to a desert. Then we move on to talk about the biological aspects, the organisms that have lived there and live there. Now if we talk a bit about the megafauna that lived there previously and is extinct now, things like mammoths and sabertooth cats and giant sloths and why they're extinct. And we talk about the organisms that live there now that are, that have evolved to be able to survive in this very, very harsh environment.

Speaker 2: 01:34 Wow. And Mike, what made you both decide to take that leap from a course to a book? Well, it was a number of things. One was that former students contacted re and would say, you know, ask her, well, could you tell us that story again about the kangaroo rats or where did we see the pictographs in the park? And so that sort of gave her the idea and then she spoke to me and, and uh, we decided that maybe the best thing to do would be to take 16 years worth of lecture notes and convert it into a book, which we thought would be, Hey, what could be easier? But, um, it ended up taking us about six years to do. So a lot of things probably would have been easier,

Speaker 1: 02:12 but hopefully something that everyone can kind of obtain. Um, you know, Mike was exposed to Anza Borrego through his 34 year career with the state parks department. Marie, how did you first become exposed to the park and what led you to do

Speaker 2: 02:24 teaching a course on the region? Well, I first started cutting out to enter Borrego when I was an undergraduate at Cal poly Pomona. And I came out for a field trips for herpetology and ornithology and mammalogy classes and just fell in love with it and went there off and on subsequently. And then when Mike and I got together, we started going out there camping and taking a retreat of biology professors from the USD out there. And the chair of the department at, we would do little tours and telling people stories about the plants and the animals and all of that. And the chair of the department said, well, why didn't you guys just teach a class? We said, wow, that sounds like a really fun idea. It turned out to be a great idea. We loved it. Yeah, and Marie, who do you see as the audience for this book? The book can be used as a textbook for college courses or extension courses, but we really tried to make it accessible to the general public, the people that kind of like to look at national geographic and one of the ways we did that was to include a lot of illustrations. Mike, there are how many

Speaker 3: 03:30 in 208 pages in the book there are 314 illustration, so a good part of the book actually is illustrations and I think actually if you went through the book and looked at all the pictures and tables and read the captions, that you'd pretty much get the gist of it. There are a variety of different habitats within the state park. Tell us about that. First of all, it's big ends of BRECHO is about 640,000 acres, which is about a thousand square miles. Within that area. We have mountains that go up over 6,000 feet in elevation. And also we have lower areas that go down to sea level. So, um, there's a huge variety of habitats there. And we also have places in the mountains. They get quite a bit of rain and then we get places in the low ends, they get very little precipitation at all. And so this leads to a variety of different types of habitats. Everything from Alpine habitats that you would see, uh, in the Sierras to Sandy desert washes implies where there's very little vegetation at all.

Speaker 2: 04:27 And that weeds, uh, leads to it being home to a variety of different birds and animals, right, Marie? Yes. Sieving deserts are harsh and a lot of people think that they're so harsh that's so hot and so dry and so salty that it's just a big empty sandbox. You know, and that's not true at all. There's a huge diversity of plants, animals, fungi and such that are adapted to be able to cope with these intense challenges. And they also work together in complicated food webs and they interact with each other and influence the evolution of each other. For example, there are things like tranche LA Hawks that are big wasp that paralyzed trenchless haul them into a burrow, lay their eggs on them, the larva develop on that [inaudible] and there are kangaroo rats who jump and add like kangaroos instead of run because pushing the sand down is more efficient than pushing it behind you.

Speaker 2: 05:27 And they live in burrows that are cooler and more moist and they have really efficient kidneys so they don't even have to drink water. But there are also things like flowers that are adapted to be pollinated by bats and there are two kinds of bats that's, that are adapted to these flowers which are big and cup shaped and white and open at night. And they have long tongues to lap up and they can hover and they can hover and there are other bats that are not so, so adapted that basically just go in and face plant in the flower and get pollen all over their face and then go to another flower. And they actually turned out to be better pollinators. Then the ones that are adapted, it all sounds like they're are very intricate ecosystems that are both fascinating and terrifying at the same time. A lot going on out there. Um, Anza Borrego is the largest state park in California covering nearly 1000 square miles. As you mentioned, Mike, uh, how do you foresee the park being impacted by climate change?

Speaker 3: 06:27 One of the big things we know about climate change, one of the symptoms that we see is the raising of the temperature of tropical sea waters. And that emphasizes a cycle of circulation in the atmosphere called the Hadley cell. And the upshot is, is the part of the Hadley cell that descends comes down about where we are in between about 30 degrees North and South of the equator. And it causes high pressure cells and those high pressure cells thinned away storms that come in, in the wintertime. And so that's why we have a Mediterranean climate here, meaning that we have dry summers and wet winters. Probably the impact of climate change will be to emphasize or, or increase that action. And so we'll probably get less winter rain and less winter storm. So if anything, our area will get dry or during the winter. But the flip side of it is that it also enhances monsoonal moisture that we get in the late summer and early fall. So in a way, what it'll do is it'll change our climate and make it more like that of Northern Mexico and Baja California rather than what it is

Speaker 2: 07:32 today. You know, is the thought that the animals will have to adapt to that new climate or will they migrate for the plants and the animals? The problem is, is it's difficult to migrate when you're surrounded by cities. And so some organisms can migrate up the mountains a little bit and get to cooler climates, but a lot of these organisms are going to be trapped. I mean, it's going to be difficult to get past Riverside and LA and wherever else to go to other latitudes. And so there's some species that are going to be lost.

Speaker 3: 08:02 Yeah. We, you know, if you think about it during the ice ages, the Pleistocene, um, we had several different, um, times when climate change rapidly, but you didn't have Los Angeles to the North of us. And so our two wanted to the South and so animals could move in either direction to adjust to adjust their habitat to suit them. But for this period of climate change that we're currently in, a lot of the organisms don't have that option anymore.

Speaker 2: 08:25 And Mike, what do you see as other threats to the park?

Speaker 3: 08:28 Well, um, I think human development is one of the big ones. And I'm oddly one of the vulnerabilities of Anza. Borrego is its large size because to get anywhere across San Diego County, you pretty much have to cut through it. It makes up the Eastern 20% of the County. And especially now that I'm, uh, one of the responses to climate change is to develop low carbon impact energy such as solar and wind. And those tend to be in very places where they can be developed. And one of them of course is the desert because there's lots of sun there. And there are places where it's very windy and also there are geothermal resources out there too, but you've got to get the energy from where it's generated out to the coast where it gets used. And so in the past there have been a series of of electrical line developments that would have passed through Anza Borrego and the most recent one being the sunrise Powerlink. However, eventually that alignment was changed so that it passes to the South of the park. And it was mainly the interaction of the public that really forced the decision to be made to change the path of that. And so we, we rely heavily on the public to defend Anza Borrego and that's one of the things we'd like to get out of our book. We'd like people to read it and better understand the desert and because they understand the desert to love it and if they love it to defend it.

Speaker 1: 09:48 I've been speaking with Mike Wells and Marie Simovich authors of a natural history of the Anza Borrego region then and now. Thank you both for joining us. Thank you. They'll both be speaking about the book on Friday, December 20th at the anti Borrego desert state park visitor center.

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KPBS Midday Edition is a daily talk show hosted by Maureen Cavanaugh and Jade Hindmon, keeping San Diegans in the know on everything from politics to the arts.