In May 2016, Roseburg Forest Products filed a suit against the City of Weed, California, the organization Water for the Citizens of Weed, and nine individuals, including Jim Taylor, Jim Gubetta, Bob Hall, Bruce Shoemaker, Dave Pearce, Mary Jackson, Michael Yates, Monica Zinda, and Ray Strack, requesting that the court settle a dispute over who owns a water right that had been used for several decades to provide 2.0 cubic feet per second of water to Weed through the Beaughan Springs.
The individuals, and WCWC, had argued that they were not proper defendants in the case, alleging that Roseburg had initiated a Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation – a lawsuit intended to silence members of the public who speak out against another party’s actions – which are illegal in California.
Roseburg had argued in its filing that when the individuals and WCWC petitioned the City of Weed and a local watermaster district to determine the holder of the Beaughan water right, they had infringed on the right the company says it has owned since it purchased property and assets from International Paper in 1982.
On Dec. 7, Siskiyou County Superior Court Judge Karen Dixon ruled that the named defendants and WCWC “could not be sued for exercising their constitutional rights when they asked local government agencies for help.”
-David Smith, Siskiyou Daily
Mt. Shasta looms over Roseburg Forest Products, the primary employer in Weed, California. RFP purchased the mill from International Paper in 1982. According to RFP, rights to Beaughan Springs emanates from their agreement with International Paper. Those rights are now in dispute.
The “Weed 9” - from left, top - Mary Jackson, Bob Hall, Jim Taylor, Dave Pearce, Monica Zinda, Bruce Shoemaker, Jim Gubetta, Ray Strack, and Michael Yates.
Wood axes on display at the Weed Historic Lumber Town Museum.
A man collects drinking water from Headwaters Spring in Mt. Shasta, California, known as a headwaters for the Upper Sacramento River. Some residents claim water from the spring fell as snow about 50 years ago.
A McCloud, CA resident proselytizes outside his home. Water from Mt. Shasta, in the background, supplies water to the entire area.
A family takes a self-portrait at the Bunny Flat Trailhead at Mt. Shasta, CA. The mountain provides recreational activities as well as water for the entire region.
A school bus brings students to school in Weed, California as Roseburg Forest Products stands in the background.
Weed, California resident and musician Jimmy Limo relies on the water from Mt. Shasta as do the other approximately 2,600 residents for cooking, drinking, and recreation.
Cross-country skiers prepare to head down a trail at the Bunny Flat Trailhead at Mt. Shasta, CA. The mountain provides recreational activities as well as water for the entire region.
McCloud Falls flows with discharge from snowpack on Mt. Shasta.
Modern-day pilgrims pose for a portrait after spending the night on Mt. Shasta under a full moon. The mountain is a spiritual new-age "power-center" as well as a water source and recreational area for the region.
Water is sprayed on logs at Roseburg Forest Products. Some residents allege the water used for this purpose is from Beaughan Springs.
A man cross-country skis at the Bunny Flat Trailhead at Mt. Shasta, CA. The mountain provides recreational activities as well as water for the entire region.
Wood-boring bits on display at the Weed Historic Lumber Town Museum.
A bottle of water, provided free by Roxanne Crystal Geyser, is passed to a Weed High School basketball player during a game in December, 2017. The boxes the bottles are delivered in have Japanese script on them, leading some residents to believe that their water is bottled, shipped to Japan, then shipped back to Weed, eventually ending up as free bottled water for the local residents.
Surveying tools, saws and picks on display at the Weed Historic Lumber Town Museum.
Roseburg Forest Products, December 2017.
A man prepares barbecued Chinese pork in Weed, California.
A junkyard sits across the highway from Mt. Shasta. Besides Roseburg Forest Products, there are not many economic opportunities in the area.
A two-handed wood saw on display at the Weed Historic Lumber Town Museum.
The Roxanne Crystal Geyser bottling plant. Roseburg Forest Products sells water from Beaughan Springs to the plant for profit. Until a lease recently expired, the town of Weed was able to acquire 2cfs for $1.00 a year. After the lease expired, Roseburg agreed to a ten-year lease, increased the charge to the city of Weed to $97,500 a year, and stipulated that city must find a new water source.
Crate plates, used to stamp wood planks, on display at the Weed Historic Lumber Town Museum.
A copy of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution are displayed in the Weed, California post office. The members of the Weed 9 were dismissed of charges against them based on their constitutional right to address grievances through government representatives.
A sign warns of ice on A10, the road that brings travelers to trailheads surrounding Mt. Shasta, December 2017.
Martin Spencer-Davies stands inside a pump house he is building on his property in Weed, CA to supply water to his home. Beaughan Springs, the water source in dispute, runs through his property.
Bruce Shoemaker, left, and Bob Hall of the "Weed 9", share a laugh during a meeting of Water for the Citizens of Weed one day before their appearance in Superior Court to defend themselves against "quiet title" charges brought by Roseburg Forest Products.
Bob Hall, left, and Ray Strack, of the "Weed 9" attempt to raise money for their organization at the College of the Siskiyous.
Members of the Weed 9 wait for proceedings to begin in Siskiyou Superior Court, Dec. 7, 2017 as they defend themselves against a "quiet title" charge from Roseburg Forest Products. The nine defendants and the city of Weed were found to be innocent, protected by their constitutional right to appeal to government entities, and charges were dismissed.
Attorneys for Roseburg Forest Products leave the Siskiyou Superior Court after their suit against the Weed 9 was dismissed on constitutional grounds.
Supporters celebrate in the hall of the Siskiyou Superior Court after charges against the Weed 9 are dismissed Dec. 7, 2017 in Yreka, CA.
Jim Gubetta of the "Weed 9" celebrates the dismissal of a suit brought against him and eight others, as well as the city of Weed, California by Roseburg Forest Products.