Newspaper Archive of
The Billings County Pioneer
Beach, North Dakota
April 12, 1945     The Billings County Pioneer
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April 12, 1945

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BILLINGS COUNTY PIONEER A CLOSE-UP OF THE MISSOURI VALLEY By Rufus Ferral--St. Louis Post-Dispatch In the Western half of the Missouri Valley, the right to water is the right to life. The value of vast, incredily rich and productive lands is determined absolutely by the water available for irrigation. That is why, though cattle-rustling predominates in fiction, many Westerners believe there was more violence and loss of life over water-rustling. "One of my earliest childhood recollections," said an engineer, "is of find- ing, at the head-gate of an irrigation ditch, the body of a man who had been killed for stealing water." Though the lives of all the people who live in the subhumid West depend upon water law, there are few who understand the subject, for it is remarkably complex. One of the foremost authorities on Western water law is Clifford H. Stone, direc- tor of the Colorado Water Conservation Board who has been engaged with this all-important subject all his life and has fought most of the important cases before the United States Supreme Court. "In the early days," Mr, Stone said, "the states had no con- tinuing water policy. Their policy changed with changes in administrations, and this bred controversy." Now, there are two basic types of water law in the Missouri Valley. They are contradictory of each other, and in most of the sub-humid states of the valley they exist side by side. Ef- forts have been made to reconcile the contradiction of declar- ations of paramountcy. The earlier of these doctrines is the riparian, which says that land-owners owns the water that flows through his pn)p- erty, and'that he has a right to have it continue to flow un- dimished. The riparian octrine prevails in Kansas and the Dakotas, states which contain both humid and sub-humid The riparian doctrine is completely inapplicable to the West," Mr. Stone declares. "It came from English common law through the Eastern part of the United States and it is applicable in these areas of its origin and transplantation --- areas where rainfall is sufficient and water is used but not consumed. ' rhe applicable doctrine in the West is the doctrine of ap- propriation, which says that the first person to put water to good purpose has the first right to it. The appropriation dec- trine is expressed in the saying, 'First in time, first in right.' It comes to us from Roman law, and it grew up hand-in-hand with irrigation in sub-humid areas. Herodotus wrote the law in Persia 2300 years ago that stated the doctrine of appro- priation substantially as it is employed in the West today. From Rome, the doctrine came to us through Spain, France, Mexico and the Republic of TexasJ' Appropriation is the dominant law, by court decision, in Colorado, Wyoming and Montana, all states lying completely within the sub-humid belt. In Nebraska, which is divided be- INFORMAL CONFERENCE AT B-29 BASE AT A Ik29 BASE In the Marlana~ Brig. Gen. Thomas Powers (third from left), If Fort Worth, Tex~ eKseuss~ a maintenance problem with men of h~ 21st ]~maber Command. They are (I. to r.): Pfc. Raymond Stuntz. Cumberl~d~ Md.; Sgt. Ray M. Hagerty, Waltersburg, Pa.; Brig. Gem Po~ Cliff. ~ W. MacNivenj of Waterbury, Conn. (International) YANKVETERAN'S SIGHT BLINDED BY SHRAPNEL In France lind.told by doeto~ that he would never see again, Pvt. William Myers, of Grmmsbur~ Pa. now is a strong be.- liever in miracles. His sight was ~ at the magland General Hos- pital, Atlantic City. N. J. Here Mym~ tells eadet nurse Sarah W, Scott that he no longer needs brafl~ tat bookL (lntt,~t/ona| Sound~hoto) tween humid and sub-humid, riparian doctrine applies to land acquired before the enactment of an appropriation doctrine to lands later acquired. Against this background of riparian and appropriation doc- trines, there are two events-at-law which are essential to any beginning understanding of the water rights situation. The first was the decision of the Kansas vs. Colorado case by the United States Supreme Court in 1907. "That was the first time we ever knew that not all the water that originated in the state was our," Mr. Stone said. "The decision was that every state is entitled to an equitable portion of an interstate stream." The second event is the still-pending suit of Nebraska vs. Wyoming and Colorado, in which the most important point at issue has become the Federal Government's claim to all un- appropriated waters. These elements-the riparian and approp iatinn doctrines, the conflicts between the sovereign rights of states, and the powers of a Federal Government attempting to call the meet- ing to order--b, ave long been sufficient to make an interstate stream a horizontal Tower of Babel. TRANSPORTATION OF 1945 CROPS CALLS FOR TRUCK MILEAGE REDUCTION Transportation of 1945 crops and farm products, says ODT, posess serious difficulties for the nation's farmers and agricultural haulers un- less further efforts are made to re- duce and concern trucking mileage. Manpower, equipment and tire shortages will be increasingly felt because of inductions into the arm- ed forces, the steadily advancing age and deterioration of trucks and trailers and the tread-worn condi- tion of large number of heavy duty tires. Less manpower and a reduc- ed number of older trucks, ODT emphasized, will be available to haul approximately the same, and in some products, larger tonnages than were hauled in 1944. The WFA 1945 production, goals call for the planting and harvesting of 300,000,- 000 arres of cultivated crops and 64,000,000 acres of hay. It is also ex- pected that 135,000,000 head of live- stock will be slaughtered. During 1944, oIyr said, the greatest harvest of agricultural products ever pro- duced by the American farmer: Livestock poultry, milk, fruit, veg- etables, grains, etc was success fully moved from producing a~eas without any loss due to lack of trucking transportation. MANDAN CONSTRUCTION PROJECT APPROVED The construction of ad(~itiomal water mains andJ installation of ad- ditional fire hydrants on the ground6 of the State Training School at Man- dan, North Dakota, amounting to $8,894.44 was a,pproved by the WPB, announced WPB officials recently. Predatory animals, chiefly foxei and coyotes, cause& North Dakota poultry growers loss of chickens and turkeys valued at $601,000 in 1944. a survey by the U. S. DepartmerLt of Agriculture show& The War Food Administration is asking for a s~bstantial increase in chickens for meat, to improve civil- ian supplies this year. When corn cribs are constructed properly, natural air drying usual- ly is sufficient to reduce the mols- ture content to a safe margin. THE LONE RANGER By Bob Green ]1 oun.Av ) 0 I ' f,ou I',x, I IANo''F-R F,F,'Y X ,'U'r ! IT E tDEAOF--,?. ,/( PED XEr I IFoR A HOL0-UF:';IM NOT j===31F ErANOYOU'O I rr'n4,=Rs I ICI rr rr, caOI4AD'R2 cF t I x:x.J', E / THAT RCX I/RJLTON"THE/WURDERIN' ) I TMNTRAIL--W jr" ,4 AFr--oRD A ./TONTO WILL/IW LLTRV OTHER/WE CAN/ I WAY TO WREK JAY / PREVENT I l. ~JI~E U~EO A | I oooo wrn-, H,M out O,= I " -"IWA'Y,w A ONC'H fOR ,I I THE; ~VEERN/~I=NT MAIL ~-~.1 L ~-yYY-~mE; ~ W'MOA:.~w~oA,I/ OO~O ~N ~ LATEI~ ON I / A ~Rt~-~E! jMINUTE.q You W~-CKED AT .~' UNDER. 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