Violence Averted In Water Rights Dispute In Lassen
May 29th, 1935
Threatened violence in a dispute over water rights along Willow creek and Eagle Lake was averted yesterday with the setting of June 4 for hearing an application to revoke permits of the Tule and Baxter irrigation districts. The hearing will be held by the state division of water resources.
Guards at the Gate
Armed guards meanwhile continued to patrol water diversion gates on the Pat Walsh ranch, shutting off water from Walsh property.
Violence was threatened after ranchers of the Honey Lake Valley and Willow creek districts claimed armed guards posted on the diversion gates were shutting off water and an appeal was sent to the state to act as referee in the dispute.
The investigation by the division revealed armed guards posted by the districts were depriving Walsh of 1,200 inches of water allowed him under an agreement made in 1922 for a right of way across his land. Walsh countered by posting two guards over a hole he made in the canal to divert water to his land. The division also disclosed the districts were taking water from Willow Creek as well as Eagle Lake after the Baxter Creek siphon had sprung a leak and wouldn’t carry water.
Petitioners representing fourteen thousand acres demanded the hearing on two grounds: First, that the terms and conditions of the permits were not being observed. Second, that due to the poor conditions of the irrigation systems, water was not being applied to beneficial use.
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