Shallow depressions in the Mira Mesa landscape are hardly noticeable to casual observers, yet they are big enough that they have contributed to decades of delay for a proposed neighborhood school.
And the so-called vernal pools are growing in political significance. The saga of the still-unbuilt Jonas Salk Elementary School gained national attention last week when it was featured in a U.S. House committee hearing on problems caused by the Endangered Species Act, one of the nation’s cornerstone environmental laws and one of the most contested.
The school also is the subject of its own bill in Congress, introduced by Rep. Brian Bilbray, R-San Diego, to speed construction at the request of residents.
“I am not trying to destroy the law,” he said. “I am trying to fulfill it.”