If life imitated art, it would be a simple matter to follow the dotted line and snip a 200-foot dam near Ojai off the face of the earth.
For years, an alliance of environmentalists, fishermen, surfers and officials from every level of government has called for demolishing the obsolete structure.
Now, an anonymous band of artists has weighed in, apparently rappelling down the dam’s face to paint a huge pair of scissors and a long dotted line. The carefully planned work is, no doubt, Ventura County’s most environmentally correct graffiti by a dam site.
Matilija Dam was built in 1947 for flood control and water storage. But officials say it was flawed from the outset. For decades, it’s been holding back silt as much as water, depriving beaches 17 miles downstream of the sand they need to replenish themselves.
It’s also been deemed a huge obstacle for steelhead trout, an endangered species that was once a trophy fish luring anglers from across the country.
Photos by Mel Melcon