For the first time in weeks, tree sitters living in a grove of oak trees on the University of California, Berkeley campus ate real food this morning.

Protesters who oppose the university's planned removal of the trees to make way for the construction of a new sports training center managed to tie a line from a tree in the oak grove to a Redwood tree in a parking lot behind offices on Piedmont Avenue, located about 50 yards away from the grove, according to Doug Buckwald, a spokesman for Save the Oaks.

At least one bag of food has been transported across the line today, much to the delight of the tree sitters, who have been eating only energy bars provided by the university since campus medical director Dr. Brad Buchman determined earlier this month that each tree sitter needs 1,800 calories a day to survive, Buckwald said.

The campus has since been providing energy bars with that exact amount of calories to the tree sitters.

Buckwald could not specify the type of food that was sent to the tree sitters this morning but said, "It's nothing at all like the energy bars they've been forced to eat. It's real food. It's healthy food."

UC Berkeley spokesman Dan Mogulof said police are assessing the situation to determine an appropriate course of action.

"These very dangerous and desperate acts are the exact reason we have to bring this protest to a safe but certain conclusion," Mogulof said.

The food delivery made this morning follows Alameda County Superior Court Judge Barbara Miller's ruling Tuesday that allows the University of California, Berkeley to begin construction on the sports training facility at the site of the oak grove.

A UC Board of Regents committee approved building the sports training center on Dec. 5, 2006.

Shortly afterward, a group of people began living in a grove of oak trees next to the stadium to protest the project because it calls for tearing down many of the trees.

UC attorney Charles Olson has said the estimated cost of the project has grown by more than $11 million since Miller issued a preliminary injunction Jan. 29, 2007.

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