California Farm Bureau Federation
Dept. of Environmental Advocacy
2300 River Plaza Drive, Sacramento, CA. 95833-3239

Carolyn S. Richardson, Director, Attorney at Law

July 23, 1998

Billie Redemeyer
Wally Roney
Chico, CA. 95973

RE: Quincy Library Group

Dear Billie and Wally:

This is the latest word on riparian and appropriative water rights in California--both ground and surface water rights are firm property rights under state law: as solid as other forms of real property rights. Since longstanding state and federal law respects state water rights to sources on federal lands, and these are solid property rights under state law, they must be respected by any other law purporting to affect the management of federal lands. Mind you, the state Constitution says these rights cover "reasonable use" and "reasonable manner of use", so it may be necessary to defend the use water is put to and the way water is diverted or otherwise accessed, but since agriculture is a preferred use under state law, and the reasonableness of a manner of use is chiefly an issue of custom and feasibility, I see no basis for challenging you diversions as unreasonable. In summary, the SAT guidelines cannot extinguish your water right without compensation. The implementation team (of the QLG) could serve a useful function by committing to good faith efforts to ensure that there are no conflicts with the exercise of your water right, for example by excluding by excluding the area of your diversions from designation as project areas, or by adjusting the season and manner of project work so that it does not impair your right.

Yours very truly,


Carolyn S. Richardson

Sunday, January ,(, /),( 0(:,(:,( AM