THE STONY CREEK WATER WARS
Glenn County - Tehama County - Colusa County , California.
(c) 2009, Mike Barkley

Answer of James Mills Orchard Corporation

[A transcription of the document on file in the Angle Archives

Important because they were the predominant user of downstream underflow.

In straight text without elaborate formatting. Any editorial comments by me are contained within brackets, "[]", which you may delete easily after downloading the "page source" to your own editing software if your browser allows source downloading. ]

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[Blue cover:]

IN EQUITY NO. 30
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IN THE NORTHERN DIVISION
OF THE
DISTRICT COURT
OF THE
UNITED STATES
FOR THE
NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA
SECOND DIVISION.

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THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,

Plaintiff,

vs.

H.C. ANGLE, ET AL.,

Defendants,
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ANSWER OF DEFENDANT JAMES MILLS
ORCHARD CORPORATION.

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FILED
At ____ o'clock and ____ Min ____ M
SEP 25 1922
W.B. Maling, Clerk
By Thomas J. Franklin, Deputy Clerk
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[end of cover]


IN THE NORTHERN DIVISION OF THE DISTRICT COURT OF THE

UNITED STATES

FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA

SECOND DIVISION

THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
Plaintiff,

vs.

H.C. ANGLE, ET AL.,
Defendants.

IN EQUITY No. 30

ANSWER OF DEFENDANT
JAMES MILLS ORCHARD CORPORATION

Comes now the above named defendant, James Mills Orchard Corporation, and for answer to the amended complaint of plaintiff herein alleges and sets forth:

I.


That defendant is a corporation duly organized and existing under and by virtue of the laws of the State of New York, and has conformed to all of the laws of the State of California governing upon corporations.

II,


That the defendant is now and for many years immediately prior to the commencement of this action through itself and its predecessors in interest has been and is now the owner of and in possession of by right and title derived from the United States Government by continuous chain of title of those certain lots, pieces and parcels of land situated in the County of Glenn, State of California, and more particularly described as follows, to-wit:
The south half of Lots 1094 to 1097 inclusive,
The south west quarter of Lot 1112
Lots 1113 to 1117 inclusive
The north half and the south east quarter of Lot 1129
Lots 1130 to 1140 inclusive
Lots 1141 to 1150 inclusive
Lots 1166 to 1178 inclusive
All said Lots being part of Division No. 2 of the Hamilton Unit of the Sacramento Valley Irrigation Project according to the Map of same filed for record in the office of the Recorder of the County of Glenn, State of California,
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III.


That said Stony Creek referred to in the said complaint is a natural stream and water course arising in the Mountains west of the lands of defendent, and said creek and waterway thence naturally flows and has flowed from time immemorial to, on, over and under and across the lands of defendant and leaves the foothills of the Coast Range of Mountains at a point a few miles northwest of the town of Orland, in the said County of Glenn, State of California, at a point known as Millers Buttes, from said last mentioned point said creek and waterway flows in a general easterly direction and finally devouching [sic] into the Sacramento River, and said creek and the waters of said creek at this time passes over, through, on, under and along the lands of the defendant as above described; That each and all of the above described lands have at all times since their acquirement by the defendant and the original predecessors in interest have been and are now riparian to the said stream and its tributaries and the waters thereof.

IV.


That during the past geologic ages Stony Creek has built up a well defined cone, and that under the surface of the lands of defendant may be found numerous gravel stratas and channels, at variable depths and all interconnected, and that said channels are not only connected with each other but they are also connected at numerous points with the present surface and underground channel of Stony Creek, and that all of said channels have a common source, whlch said common source is below the point of storage and diversion adopted by plaintiff, and above the lands of defendant.

V.


That the present bed of Stony Creek is a wide shifting

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bed of loose pervious and coarse gravel and that at all points above and adjacent to the lands of defendant it will vary in width from a minimum of one thousand feet to a maximum of over five thousand feet; That the material which makes up said stream bed is of such an excessively coarse nature that it absorbs large quantities of water during the time when a surface flow exists in said stream and that the water so absorbed into said stream bed flows and percolates into the numerous underground gravel stratas and channels above referred to, and which flow upon, over, along and under the lands of defendant: That the amount of water so absorbed is variable and depends upon the surface of water, the surface of gravel exposed to such water, the depth of water over such gravels and the duration of the flow; and defendant claims that a large portion of said flow does percolate as above described and does not flow on the surface of said stream to its junction with the said Sacramento River; That of the waters which are absorbed into the gravels as above described, some are lost by evaporation, and that the balance tend to continue their flow in said underground channels, and ultimately after passing along, over and under the lands of defendant, reach the ocean. That unless said underground channels are annually replenished there will be nothing to sustain the supply of water now existing and passing along, over and under the said lands of defendant, and that as a consequence in a few years said underground channels will be depleted and dry, and defendant further alleges that all of said water so described is necessary for the proper irrigation of its lands.

VI.


That the lands of defendant are fertile and not only require water now flowing in said channels for the proper irrigation of its lands, but an additional suppiy of water from said

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surface and underground flow to be applied to its said land for proper irrigation in order to make said lands productive; That beginning with the year 1912 the defendant has greatly improved its lands and large acreage thereof by planting thereon a large number of trees of various kinds, both deciduous and citrus, as well as other crops requiring water to be applied artifically [sic]. That to supply such needed water the defendant has expended large amounts of money in the boring and sinking of numerous wells, and the installation therein of suitable pumps and equipment with which to operate said pumps for the irrigation of said lands from the surface and underground flow of said Stony Creek, and, also, in the construction of many miles of concrete pipe for the distribution of said water to said lands, and in the construction of many miles of power lines to enable power to be delivered to said pumps for said irrigation; That said land is now all being irrigated from the surface and underground flow of water of said stream, and has at all times since the year 1912 been so irrigated; That the result of the use of said water for said irrigation has been to increase greatly the yields of crops of all kinds on said lands, and that as a further result of said irrigation the value of said lands and crops grown thereon have, and will be, greatly increased, and will still increase unless said supply of water is depleted, and produce valuable crops of all kinds,

VII.


That the wells so bored on defendant's lands are connected with and are supplied through the surface and underground channels above referred to, and are entirely dependent upon them; That the inevitable result of the operations of said piaintiff in storing flood waters and diverting from said stream the natural flow thereof will be that the gravel stratas underlying the lands of

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defendant will be deprived of their usual and necessary supply of water for the irrigation of said lands, and as a further result the wells of defendant will not yield sufficient water for the proper or any irrigation of defendantsí lands described herein, and the trees and other crops now planted, and to be planted, on the defendants lands will no longer produce a full or any crop of fruit and may wither away and die.

VIII.


That the defendant as owner of the lands above described is entitled to a reasonable use of the surface and underground flow of said Stony Creek, and the waters thereof, and is entitled to have such flow continue on, over, across and under the above described lands, and hereby claims the right by virtue of such ownership and riparian proprietorship, to have an undiminished flow over, by, across and under said lands; That he also claims the right to make use of said surface and underground waters for the purpose of irrigating said lands and for all other reasonable and domestic purposes.

IX.


Defendant also claims that by virtue of ownership of lands having an underground water bearing stratum which is supplied by the flood waters and other waters of said Stony Creek, he has a primary right to the full surface and underground flow of said stream in order to bring such underground water bearing strata up to their full capacity, to the end that a full and complete irrigation of said lands may be accomplished

X.


That the rights of plaintiff and all others to the flow of water in said Stony Creek, either flowing on the surface or under the bed of said Stony Creek, and to the storage of flood waters thereon, is subsequent to and subordinate to the rights of this

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defendant as the riparian proprietor of said lands described herein, to use the same and apply the same to the irrigation of the above described lands and for domestic and other uses; That the rights of plaintiff to store the flood, or any waters, of said stream or to use said stream as a channel for carrying its water from its storage works so constructed to points of diversion as aforesaid, and thereupon distributing it to other lands than that of defendant, are also subordinate to the rights of said defendant as a landowner having an underground gravel stratum supplied directly or indirectly by flood or other waters from said Stony Creek,

WHEREFORE defendant prays that plaintiff take nothing as against this defendant; that the rights of said defendant to the waters of Stony Creek, either surface or underground, and its tributaries, be determined by this Court, and that it be adjudged and decreed that as between the plaintiff and defendant the said defendant have the right to all underground and surface water of said creek necessary and in sufficient quantities for the proper irrigation of this land, and a sufficient supply of flood water to annually replenish said underground stratas, and for costs incurred in this action, and for such other and further relief as to this Court may seem proper.

/s/ James Mills Orchard Corporation
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Defendant.

/s/ Frank Freeman [both signatures in Mr. Freeman's hand]
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Attorney for Defendant

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Return to Stony Creek Water Wars.

--Mike Barkley, 161 N. Sheridan Ave. #1, Manteca, CA 95336 (H) 209/823-4817
mjbarkl@inreach.com