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Oregon man serving prison sentence for collecting rainwater on his own property


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Knowdafish

http://www.naturalnews.com/046359_oregon_rainwater_collection_big_governemnt.html

 

 An Oregon landowner has been subjected to a 30-day prison sentence for what he says was a simple act of collecting rainwater on his own property. CNS Newsreports that Gary Harrington was convicted of nine misdemeanors and sentenced to 30 days in prison, as well as slapped with a $1,500 fine, for diverting snow runoff and rainwater into three reservoirs on his property, a move that local officials say violates an antiquated law governing personal water use.

Known as the "Rain Main," Harrington reportedly built the reservoirs, which hold some 13 million gallons of water, for his own personal use. One of the reservoirs he stocked with largemouth bass for leisure purposes, and when wildfires emerge in the area, he says the water from this and the other two reservoirs can be used for mitigatory purposes. In Harrington's mind, the operation is perfectly legal and a legitimate use of his own property.

But the state of Oregon disagrees, claiming that Harrington is actually diverting water intended for the Big Butte Creek watershed and its tributaries, which are governed by the nearby city of Medford, onto his own property. Some have even accused Harrington of hoarding natural resources that do not belong to him, insisting that he should instead allow water that runs onto his property to flow into the city's water coffers for redistribution.

"They issued me my permits," stated Harrington to CNS News about the legality of his water collection efforts. "I had my permits in hand and they retracted them just arbitrarily, basically. They took them back and said, 'No, you can't have them.' So I've been fighting it ever since."
 

Water controllers cite outdated 1920s law in pursuit of Harrington

State water managers, however, have cited a 1925 law that provisions exclusive ownership of all "core sources of water" by the city of Medford, not private landowners. They say Harrington's three water reservoirs are included under this provision, and that water flowing through his property belongs to the state.

But Harrington insists that his water collection efforts are legal, and that water stored on his property serves a primary purpose of dealing with frequent wildfires. Harrington also uses the water in his dwelling for non-potable purposes, similar to rain collection efforts that involve diverting water from roofs and other non-porous surfaces into barrels or storage tanks.

"I'm sacrificing my liberty so we can stand up as a country and stand for our liberty," Harrington announced before a small crowd gathered outside the Jackson County jail, prior to beginning his sentence.

Harrington had previously been fighting the state after being issued a three-year bench probation back in 2007. This probation mandated that Harrington close up his reservoirs and stop collecting water, which he shortly thereafter violated after reinstating the reservoirs. This, says the state, is the impetus behind Harrington's booking, and the reason why he was pursued so aggressively in this matter.

"Mr. Harrington has operated these three reservoirs in flagrant violation of Oregon law for more than a decade," stated Oregon Water Resources Department Deputy Director Tom Paul to the Medford Mail Tribune, as quoted by Mother Nature Network (MNN). "What we're after is compliance with Oregon water law, regardless of what the public thinks of Mr. Harrington."

According to CNS News, Harrington plans to fight his sentence tooth and nail, and has vowed not to "lay over and die." Doing so, he says, will allow the government bullies to become even bigger bullies, further threatening individual liberty in the state of Oregon.

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Skywalker

This strikes me as a bit bonkers.  He is using run-off to fill his ponds.  But eventually the ponds become full, and the run-off continues at the same rate down the hill.

 

His usage, compared to what is still running off his land, is minimal once the ponds are full up.

 

"Illogical Captain."

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Majorsco

Used to be that a land owner owned their land, the mineral rights under it and any thing of nature on it.

 

When did this change such that water is owned by the government on someone's land?

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contraman

They tried this once in Victoria Australia, many years ago.

The farmer counter claimed by saying if the Government owned the water falling on his land.

Then he wanted an injunction to prevent the Government allowing the rain to fall on his property.

Both sides elected not to proceed.

 

BTW

Until a few years ago it was illegal to install rainwater tanks, then they had a drought, now the government pays a subsidy to install them.

 

Bloody governments meddling in peoples lives :(

Edited by contraman
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Paul

This is nothing new. This has been going on between him and the authorities for a long time. Here is an article from two years ago:

 

Oregon man in possession of 13 million gallons of illicit rainwater sentenced to jail

An Oregon resident with 3 massive man-made ponds on his property is sentenced to 30 days in jail after being found guilty (again) of collecting rainwater without a permit.

 
I’ve taken a look at some mighty impressive rainwater collection systems in the past, but it appears that Gary Harrington, 64, takes the proverbial cake when it comes to hoarder-esque rainwater collection activities: over the years, the Oregon resident has built three massive reservoirs — in actuality, they’re more like proper man-made ponds — on his 170-acre property on Crowfoot Road in rural Eagle Point that hold roughly 13 million gallons of rainwater and snow runoff. That’s enough agua to fill about 20 Olympic-sized swimming pools.
 
Of course, it boggles the mind as to what a single man needs that much rainwater for. One would assume that Harrington is reusing it both for irrigation purposes and for non-potable indoor use as well, which, unlike in many states, is permitted in Oregon. But 13 million gallons? Apparently Harrington, who has stocked at least one of the  reservoirs with largemouth bass and built docks around it, believes that his watery stash is a much-needed necessity when wildfires pop up in the area. “The fish and the docks are icing on the cake," Harrington tells the Medford Mail Tribune. "It's totally committed to fire suppression."

 

Read The Full Article Here

 

 

 

 

 

When did this change such that water is owned by the government on someone's land?

 

Not sure when, exactly. But, just another step toward the government taking control of everything we have. 

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Headed that way

All part of Agenda 21 and the slow strangulation of liberty. Every year we fight water bills in the Oklahoma legislature where they try to expand government restrictions on the use of private property based upon the fact that any water hitting the property will run off into a stream and cause pollution or dirty the water.

 

Glad that guys like this man will stand up and fight for what is right. Sucks to be him right now but he is a patriot and all of us will benefit from his fight. if he gets the law overturned the citizens win.

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broden

i think i would demand the government keep their rain off my property

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HeyMike

If anyone in America thinks they own their land, then stop paying property taxes and see who really owns your land.

 

It's more fun insane in America.

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JasonEcos

We are having the opposite issue with our land in Michigan.  The land has poor drainage and my father wanted to install a french drain in the driveway area so in the wet season it doesn't flood so bad. They told him he would need to apply for permits(and pay cash) and to not even bother doing it because he will be denied anyway since it is considered "wetlands".

 

If they want wetlands on private property protected they should pay people to protect them (no property taxes, or some such) not punishing people. If they want control of the land then they should buy it.

 

Every day we are one step closer to a full police state in the US.

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Cipro

This strikes me as a bit bonkers.  He is using run-off to fill his ponds.  But eventually the ponds become full, and the run-off continues at the same rate down the hill.

 

His usage, compared to what is still running off his land, is minimal once the ponds are full up.

 

"Illogical Captain."

 

I tend to agree although making it stand for a while in a body like that would probably increase loss due to evaporation compared to immediately running off, I reckon. 

 

 

 

If anyone in America thinks they own their land, then stop paying property taxes and see who really owns your land.

 

It's more fun insane in America.

 

I can understand some taxation on property, after all the government provides a service or set of services like contract dispute resolution, national defense, and so on that help ensure that "your" property stays yours. 

 

Paying for school budgets based on property tax is horseshit though. 

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lamoe

It's crazy all obver when small minded people are given the least bit of authority.

 

My house sits on a hill (860 ft above sea level) and is the highest point in our county.  The valley (about 50 ft) below is listed as a flood plan, SO, of course when we bought the bank demanded flood insurance. I can understand with only about 2,000 ft straight line (non vertical) from low to high points. Same Zip code.

 

Called bank several times and explained we are on a hill, nope need insurance. Finally had to get verification from county that we were not in flood plan, and if our house, not just basement, flooded there'd better be a freaking Ark going by.

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tomaw

The good citizens of Medford should get a petition to have Tom Paul and others like him thrown out of their office or jobs for wasting time and tax payers money on this antiquated law and and sheer nonsense. Exactly what are they trying to accomplish anyway? Is the state of Oregon in a drought?

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Headshot

About a hundred and seventy-five years ago, this was written about those in power in government. Nothing has really changed in that time. Certainly not the nature of Man.

 

It is the nature and disposition of almost all men, as soon as they get a little authority, as they suppose, they will immediately begin to abuse it.

 

As far as taxation vs. ownership, try not paying your taxes in ANY country where the law says you owe taxes, and see what happens. That goes for the Philippines too.

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Headshot

Is the state of Oregon in a drought?

 

Yeah, it would appear they are. Medford, where this is playing out, is listed as extreme drought. Los Angeles appears to be in an even worse drought, but you guys steal your water from everybody else anyway.

 

http://koin.com/2014/07/10/half-of-oregon-suffering-severe-drought/

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HeyMike

As far as taxation vs. ownership, try not paying your taxes in ANY country where the law says you owe taxes, and see what happens. That goes for the Philippines too.

Property taxes should be outlawed everywhere. Biblically speaking, it is. The reality is that the government owns all the property in countries where they can take your land for whatever reason.

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