A group of people from Weed, California protested in front of Roseburg Forest Products headquarters in Springfield Tuesday. They’re asking the company to drop a lawsuit against them and not sell their water rights.
Roseburg Forest Products has sued the city of Weed and a group of citizens who protested its decision to sell water from Beaughan Spring to an international bottling company. The spring, which the company claims ownership of, is a source of water for the community at the foot of Mt. Shasta. Bruce Shoemaker is with the protest group Water for Citizens of Weed.Shoemaker: “A lot of this is about spring water becoming a commodity. But our town is paying the price for that and going to possibly lose our source of spring water because it’s sought after as an international commodity now.”In a statement sent to KLCC, Roseburg Forest Products says it… “expects the court to reaffirm and uphold Roseburg’s clearly established water rights to Beaughan Spring…” it adds that “The lawsuit at issue simply seeks to eliminate challenges to such ownership…” The company also says it’s allowing Weed access to the water until it finds alternative sources. The following statement is from Roseburg Senior Vice President and General Counsel Stuart Gray: Roseburg Forest Products expects the court to reaffirm and uphold Roseburg’s clearly established water rights to Beaughan Spring, located on Roseburg’s property in Weed, Calif. The lawsuit at issue simply seeks to eliminate challenges to such ownership; the litigation seeks no monetary compensation from any party. All property records show Roseburg as the rightful owner since 1983, when Roseburg purchased the water rights from International Paper as part of its acquisition of the Weed veneer plant. The legal process to affirm that ownership is lengthy and complex. In the meantime, the City and Roseburg have a signed water lease agreement to ensure supply while the City seeks alternative sources to replace the small portion of the City’s water supply that the Beaughan Springs agreement represents.