Do conservationist efforts sometimes go too far?
In the state of California, the answer to that question is probably "Yes".
A Northern California couple has been ordered by a judge to pay almost $600,000 to the state for uprooting a 100+ year old tree from their own property.
Peter and Toni Thompson removed the oak tree and moved it to another home they built next to their property. They also moved over 3,000 cubic yards of dirt in the process.
Unfortunately the tree did not survive the move.
Now a Sonoma County Superior Judge says the Thompsons violated a conservation rule and they're being fined $586,000. The money will be used for restoration efforts on the property.
The couple are now asking for a new trial, claiming their attorney could not properly represent them.