Get a Letter of Violation From the State Water Board? Here’s Your Chance to Tell Them What You Think and Work on Fixing the Issue

Community members explore their options at the Mateel Community Center this morning.

Community members explore their options at the Mateel Community Center this morning. [Photo by Taro Murano]

Today the State Water Board is holding an enrollment workshop at the Mateel Community Center in Redway from 10 to 3 p.m. There will be another held in the same place and at the same time on October 30.

Over the last month, hundreds of residents in Humboldt County (most of them in Southern Humboldt) received notices that they were “suspected of actively cultivating cannabis” this last year, according to a State Water Resource Control Board website (scroll down to page 7). Those receiving the notice are given a month from the time the notice was sent out to come into compliance or “risk civil liability for continued non-compliance.”

According to Taro Murano, a supervisor with the State Water Board who is at the Mateel, the meeting today (and the one on October 30) is “an opportunity…[the letter recipients] can come talk to us in person.”

State water Board compliance letter

Excerpt of a letter sent to a resident in Humboldt County. [Photo by Kym Kemp]

A checklist was included in the letter of many of the items needed to begin the process of coming into compliance.

While Murano acknowledged that “some people did receive the notice in error,” he said that those mistakes can be fixed. He noted that if the area isn’t being cultivated, the letter recipient should take a photo with a smartphone (making sure that the location data is on) and show that there is no cultivation currently occurring. “We’ll also follow up August 15, 2019,” he explained. “[The letter recipient] would submit the same photos of the same area” showing that no cultivation is occurring then.

Many residents have reported receiving letters of violation for grows on a neighbor’s property or for vegetable gardens. Murano said, “We erred on the side on inclusion.” But, he pointed out that today and the 30th were “an opportunity…if they want, they can come talk to us in person…Take advantage of the fact that we are here in town locally…We try to make it as easy as possible.”

He also said that photos could be sent by email to the address provided in the registered letters. “Whatever is easiest to clear the piece up,” he said.






  • Dear Water Board(ers)

    we’ve noticed that you are overly concerned with privately owned water, but don’t care about corporations or big money lobbyists influencing water flows and water rights.

    In all, we think the system you have created is a “taking” of private property (water) and is not Constitutional. If you make the plant legal, which you just did, you can’t do an end around by making water illegal. That’s taking of private right to water on landowner owned land.

    Yes, I know there is some archane, prehistoric water rights system designed by 1850’s folks, but those are a joke in nor cal.

    Figure it out — people who own the land also have a riparian claim on their water. If they are dumping waste and pesticides into the water, that’s another issue, but why should our water be claimed by so-cal without renumeration?

    • they dont care, comply or get the shaft
      welcome to commiefornia

    • Well that is an interesting perspective….but that is not how it works. Riparian rights may or may not come with the land. Regardless, what is happening as we all know is that large areas of land have been and are being parcelized and subdivided. With that is coming the growers, dopers, young dumb punks who could care less about the water rights of the watershed, and downstream users….including the fish!

      Your scenario is fine how it was long ago, you had a homesteader using the water for their home, and cows. Now it is multiple people living on the same area, with mega grows pulling water at huge levels from the streams and creeks that feed the river.

      This is the situation, don’t try and change the view by claiming ownership of the water just because you bought the land. Not so.

      • So, Bill, what you are saying is that the homesteading laws and the Spanish/Mexican water provisions laws of old, came with a clause that limited the family household to just mom, dad and 2.5 children, 2 cows and 6 plants?
        I don’t think so.

        The water was patented & even deeded. Taking it “back” is theft.,
        Families multiply. This was taken into account long ago. It’s like a big ‘duh’ for most who ever watched old westerns. Raising a hoard of strong young men to work the farm and inherit it someday was what the homesteading was all about. Room to sprawl out, build your own cabin, raise your own food, fetch your own water.,

        Stealing a patent, a deed, is theft, no matter how you look at it.

        Did you know that the agencies are supposed to be creating water cachements, ponds, resources instead of busting them up and stealing them?
        What’s it called when deception is used to steal resources and assets from their rightful owners? Fraud., sedition.,
        I’ll let you think about the rest of the list.

  • “We erred on the side on inclusion.”

    Basically your guilty and now YOU need to prove your innocence to the governing body.

    Anyone still cheerleading the demise of our rights? This is an ugly road we are headed down, where vegetable gardens are included to err on the side of inclusion for the sake of what?
    “Take a photo with your smart phone with location services on”
    Sorry Grandma doesn’t own a smart phone asshole, see you in court.

    • “Err on side of inclusion.” In civil proceeding that won’t look good for their team.

      This is so way out of bounds.

    • During the meeting held in the past in Laytonville, the speaker mentioned that vegetables and fruit were on the list but that at this time they weren’t going after them despite a certain strawberry field they can’t wait to bust.
      6 plants.
      6 plants total.

      And they deny the rumors that the politicians sold us out to China. Ha. yeh right. Heck, we’re even paying for ChiFi’s retired spy.

  • hrmm ok they want to claim rights to the water. how about the costs incured , the loss of useable la d etc incured the damage caused to private property by their supposed water. please tell me where we can send the bills. not to mention flood damage caused by their supposed water. trust the leases fees and damages could easily be placed at much higher rates than they plan on making.

  • who are they who take our land and livelihoods…Property taxes have arrived most places. If people decided not to pay them, there’s no telling what changes might be wrought..

    • Dona pay your land taxes? They. will wait until you die. and put a lean on your property. For your inheritors to pay. Incurring huge crushing interest all the live long day….Death and taxes to the tune of the Volga Boatman……

    • “who are they who take our land and livelihoods”…..the voters did when they voted to legalize and regulate marijuana. There are enforceable laws now.

      • You’re doing the apples and oranges dance ( legal, law, legal, law, legal,law, legal, law) -and it’s as boring as dog dooder.

        Legality is not reality. “LEGAL” is the “color of law.” Like the Wonderful colorful World of Oz.

  • Dear Water Board,

    Please install meters on every well used to grow marijuana and charge them $4 a gallon.

    • [edit] You’re paying nestle a dollar a gallon for water they’re pumping out of the same aquifer on public land without a permit. All on land paid for by our tax dollars. Look it up [edit]

      • Yes, but people need to drink water, marijuana is definitely not a need.
        All that water wasted on a crop that offers no nutritional value.

        Forcing high water bills on marijuana grows will cause them to shut down and that water can be allocated towards something positive.

        • heartless Y Knot? ever met someone with terminal cancer? weed IS a need.

          • Somehow I missed the skinny on how most marijuana users were cancer patients.

            Could you be so kind and show me this marijuana cure thing?

            I’ve only seen marijuana growers drain water sources to cultivate overwatered, overfertilized, product that is diverted to an underground economy, and drop vested interest if their activities become known.

            Maybe you can help me understand this type of unrecognizable marijuana grower?



  • Thanks for keeping racism alive. If the suspect was African…… this sh!t would have been dropped long ago!

    Demand to punish whitey,not justice.

  • California has taken over all the water rights we voted on it clean WATER SOUNDED GREAT. Not so great for people in the mountains .Rural folks.Back to the landers““Guess what big ag get s the majority of ca water `We do need to protect each watershed individually.Not as a whole .Every watershed is different lets not forget that.

    central valley docent have salmon creek sprowle creek Dobyens creek and so many other small tributary that have been robbed of water and de watering matole water shed van duzen water shed on and on

  • If growers had kept it at 99 outdoor we wouldn’t be in this mess.
    Blowing it up left them mo choice but to cracked down.
    It’s always been like this .except now your average Joe supports the cracks down because it was do out of hand

  • Vote….specifaly against prop 3….the government is taking steps to regulate private ground water and surface water rights All across ca. We must stand up together against this violation of our rights.

  • Wow, amazing didn’t know the extent. Growers in North hum are probably next. How about a poll? Be honest legal or illegal. Put it out there and reveal the exact story. Good luck to everyone, grower or not!
    One nation, under god, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all!

  • On the way to economic failure.

    Time for regime change in northern California,remember who not to vote for in a couple weeks,whoever is already in office now needs to go by by and needs to go new job hunting.riperian water rights are nation wide,isnt California part of the united States????? Screw these Sacramento chump’s wanting to send us a water bill for something that’s ours already.when will the robbery and extortion end.they have no shame !!!!!!!!!!

  • On the way to economic failure.

    There getting us all to sign away our riperian water rights !!!!! Don’t sign nothing it’s a scam!!!! Another California government rip off scam

  • If you turn your residence into a commercial business, then different laws and rights apply. That is what commercial marijuana permits do—change your home into a place of business.
    And Yes Nestle got away with stealing water,but they are a tax paying, international corporation with tons of lawyers.

  • So sick of this adgency ‘waterboarding’ the triangle into ghost towns. If you have a spring and it does not leave your property.. the courts have repeatedly told the water board that that water belongs to the land owner.
    Also.. if you were to say farm veggies on your property.. which also takes considerable amount of water.. (so does cows or other livestock) the permit to take water thru a repairian right is minimal. Why should it be any different if you have ‘cannabis’?
    The cannabis permit.. you have to store your water for 6 months.. but.. they want to make it incredibly difficult for you to store that water. They charge you $750 EVERY YEAR to use your water.. a small domestic permit is only $350.. but there is basically no diffrence besides one is for ‘cannabis’ and the other is ‘domestic’ which covers veggie gardens.
    I want to see out rivers and creeks healthy.. but waterboarding people to death is not the way..

  • And besides , what does (including fuzzy pics from) 2016 have to do with anything? In 2016 there were no Cannabis permit water regs.

    • The water board started their North Coast cannabis program to issue permits for storing water in exchange for forbearance on diverting water outside of the wet months in 2015. Warning letters were sent in 2016. Both items were posted on Redheaded Blackbelt at the time.

    • What fuzzy pictures from 2016?

      • One of the 2 mini fuzzy satellite pics included in these bogus “notice of violation” were from 2016, with random circles super imposed on them- I guess suggesting a violation there? These vague yet threatening letters/images were sent to those in permit process as well as those who have already ceased operations, or never grew at all . No clear explanation/proof of violation, and now the onus is on land owner to “clear the piece.”

        I was unaware of..”North Coast cannabis program to issue permits for storing water in exchange for forbearance on diverting water outside of the wet months in 2015. Warning letters were sent in 2016. ..” before Cannabis permitting even started? Whatever . Ignorance is not Bliss.

        • I wonder if the county is using the old satellite maps now that the main satellites were mysteriously offline. (Orion, Big Bird, Snow White, Corona’s.,).

          • but in reality the Water Board which is State agencies is merely using the most recent publicly available image on Google Earth. which is 5/2014 for most of Sohum or 5/2016 for most of Nohum. if the Water Board was to hire a consulting firm to get site specific up to date images like Humboldt County has they would be in violation of several laws and the property that has been specifically targeted would be damaged and able to sue for defamation of property. the County has made a huge mistake and we will all pay for it.

            • It’s a good thing then, that Mulvaney has replaced the lead in the CPRB. The CPRB allegedly used to collect all data on all homeowners, from their bank accounts to their hospital bills, so they would know who to target.
              If they’re using the old CPRB list, Mulvaney should be notified about it. The they hate Mulvaney, he’s ruining their nwo plans.
              There appears to be several agencies that are/were in cahoots with darpa (g maps) to take down the homeowners across America.

              • sorry I don’t speak alex jones. everything is about money. these agencies just want money. if they take you down, they won’t get more money. the county flips thru AP files to find money. google has not updated our images in the north coast, unlike the bay area with 2018 images because there is no money in it. roger waters said it best – its all dollars and cents.

                • It’s not AJ speak, it’s common knowledge speak to anyone who’s followed the news reports.
                  You’re correct, in that it’s follow the money to see who’s stealing the money.
                  I pointed out just one of the main money thieves. It’s up to you, the reader, to learn more or to go back to playing playstation.
                  A small blurb about the cfpb that collects the data for targeting free enterprise people and home owners.

              • Had my tang tungled. It should read CFPB not cprb.

                • “What she did do and what I will always remember her for is shaming a bank president into resigning over the creation of duplicate accounts that his customers did not know about. Her area finance and banking and she knows her area well. She created the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and this administration is fighting hard to destroy it.”
                  she = Elizabeth Warren
                  this administration = trump

        • Only knew about the water board’s program because of this website. Kym does a great job informing us. The water board does not do quite as great of a job.

  • Why would anyone in thier right mind pay to have this done to them every year? The picture is pretty clear to me.

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