Opponents of the Lang Ranch dam project won their first court battle Friday, persuading a judge to spare 40 oak trees at the Thousand Oaks site--at least for two weeks.
After hearing arguments from the Save Lang Oaks Fund, Judge Thomas J. Hutchins in Ventura County Superior Court agreed to issue a temporary restraining order blocking the county's plans to cut the trees on Monday to make way for the dam.
Although construction of the dam was not to begin until April, officials wanted to clear the trees before bird-nesting season begins.
The fate of the trees will be revisited at a Feb. 8 hearing.
Officials of the Ventura County Flood Control District have said the dam is needed to protect downstream homeowners and habitat. Opponents argue the dam is not needed.