Glenn County - Tehama County - Colusa County , California.
(c) 2001, Mike Barkley

CALIFORNIA STATE WATER RESOURCES CONTROL BOARD position on their Stony Creek jurisdiction, if any.

[This is one of the most critical issues involving the Stony Creek Watershed -- with the U.S. District Court having exclusive jurisdiction over Stony Creek water rights and flows, where does the State Water Commission and its successors (ultimately the SWRCB) get its jurisdiction to continue considering and granting appropriations, etc. The question has been muddied further by Reclamation playing both ends against the middle (for several years without public notice) in that while the case was progressing, it used the case to hold the Riparians at bay while seeking its Stony Gorge Dam appropriations, and after the Decree was issued Reclamation used it to suppress competition for Black Butte Dam appropriations:

Arguments in favor of the U.S. District Court having exclusive jurisdiction: Arguments against the U.S. District Court having exclusive jurisdiction: Ramifications of the U.S. District Court having exclusive jurisdiction: An as-yet un-located piece of the puzzle is the June 24, 1922 settlement between the U.S. and the State of California in the Angle case. ] [This is a transcription of a letter on file at the SWRCB. I've made every effort to present the content precisely, but not the form.]
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[printed stationery]
P.O. BOX 100
SACRAMENTO, CALIFORNIA 95801 [end of printed stationery]
(916) 324-5757

January 27, 1986

Paul R. Minasian
1681 Bird Street
P. 0. Box 1679
Oroville, CA 95965-1678

Dear Mr. Minasian:


This is in response to your letter dated November 22, 1985 to Mr. Samuel Fuller. Mr. Fuller has left the Board and Mr. Keith Bieg has been assigned Application 27382.

In your letter you complained that you were not on the Board's mailing list for the above application. Since your client is not a party to the proceeding, notice is not required. However, a representative of your client, Orland Water Users Association, is and has been on the mailing list. Nevertheless, we have added your name as well to the mailing list.

Your client is not a protestant to Application 27382 and the only protestant who requested a hearing, represented by Martin McDonough, have stipulated with the County of Colusa to withdraw their protests and their requests for hearing. Consequently no hearing will be held.

You questioned the Board's ability to consider Application 27382 in light of the Angle Decree. The Board is the entity charged with allocating the use of water in this state. The existence of adjudicated water rights is taken into account in the Board's determination under Water Code 1200 et seq. whether water is available for appropriation. If water is available in excess of that which has already been allocated -- whether by the courts, operation of law, or permit -- then the Board may approve a requested appropriation.

Because-the proposed appropriation is within the adjudicated area, the county may, in addition to acquiring a permit from the State Board, have to obtain authorization from the Court to exercise a new permitted right. However, the recognition of the county's right within the Angle Decree is a matter between the county, the court, and other holders of adjudicated rights under the decree. It is not a matter for the State Board to pursue. Further, since the

Paul R. Minasian 2. January 27, 1986

court does not allocate new rights but merely recognizes existing ones, the question of court recognition is a matter which, in the proper course of events should follow, not precede, the Board's action on the water right application.

I hope this answers your questions. If you have further questions, please call me at (916) 324-5757.


/s/ Barbara J. Leidigh

Barbara J. Leidigh
Staff Counsel II

cc: Keith Bieg
Water Right Files (A-27382)

[The comments in the second to the last paragraph are interesting. Do they say: and that's the difference on which SWRCB is correct in exercising its jurisdiction under Water Code 1200 et seq. ? But if the District Court granted or thought it was granting all the rights there were to grant, are there no "new ones"?

It may ultimately be vital to hear the District Court speak to these issues rather than have it ignore the problem to the detriment of the Riparians as it has for 80 years. Part of the problem is that the District Court has only been peripherally interested in these issues, whereas the SWRCB exists to solve them.]

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Return to Stony Creek Water Wars.

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