Skip to comments.Oregon Man Sentenced to 30 Days in Jail -- for Collecting Rainwater on His Property
Posted on 07/27/2012 10:01:30 AM PDT by rawhide
A rural Oregon man was sentenced Wednesday to 30 days in jail and over $1,500 in fines because he had three reservoirs on his property to collect and use rainwater.
Gary Harrington of Eagle Point, Ore., says he plans to appeal his conviction in Jackson County (Ore.) Circuit Court on nine misdemeanor charges under a 1925 law for having what state water managers called three illegal reservoirs on his property and for filling the reservoirs with rainwater and snow runoff.
The government is bullying, Harrington told CNSNews.com in an interview Thursday.
Theyve just gotten to be big bullies and if you just lay over and die and give up, that just makes them bigger bullies. So, we as Americans, we need to stand on our constitutional rights, on our rights as citizens and hang tough. This is a good country, well prevail, he said.
The court has given Harrington two weeks to report to the Jackson County Jail to begin serving his sentence.
...Tom Paul, administrator of the Oregon Water Resources Department, claims that Harrington has been violating the states water use law by diverting water from streams running into the Big Butte River.
The law that he is actually violating is not the 1925 provision, but its Oregon law that says all of the water in the state of Oregon is public water and if you want to use that water, either to divert it or to store it, you have to acquire a water right from the state of Oregon before doing that activity, Paul told CNSNews.com.
(Excerpt) Read more at cnsnews.com ...
Eva, this is U. N. goble de goop all the way.
It’s stuff like this that causes me to detest the U. N.
Why does the U. N. address these issues? Why because they want to be seen as the unbiased arbiter. And of course, there must be one, because the U. N. says so.
If there’s no need for an unbiased arbiter, there’s no need for guess who. Certainly there’s a lot less need for guess who.
The U. N. has it’s paws all over our business in this nation. It should draw back a stump or two for it’s efforts, and get booted sooner rather than later.
Thank you for your responses.
Pretty much... har.
Water in the East flows downhill. Water in the West flows toward money !
LOL, if your property straddled the Colorado River my guess is that it would be debated rather hotly!
I've actually worked a bit on riparian law. In effect, the owner is providing uncompensated collection and transport services. The state expects him to be responsible for "their" water quality when it leaves his property without any compensation for the service.
Effectively the Oregon law socializes every inch of dirt in the State. Let's hope the people figure that out before the bureaucrats take full advantage of it.
Colorado River: Heh heh heh, absolutely. I meant that comment to cover everything from small streams to larger rivers.
The rest of your comments address something along the lines of what I stated in one of my posts. I fully agree with your take on this.
Perhaps this guy should start billing the city every time rain falls on his property. Charge them at the same rate they bill him. If they claim all the water, then they should have to pay him the going rate for every cubic foot of it.
As I said at the beginning of the thread, I watered my garden today with captured rainwater. We haven't had rain for over a week, it's hot, and I'm not paying city rates for water for the garden.
That's why I capture and store water.
According to the thesis in Natural Process, he should charge not for the water but for the collection and delivery services.
Sorry I missed your comments there.
Hey, I’m with you. I think you’re doing exactly the right thing.
When you retire, come on out to Colorado, just like the other hundreds of thousands of Californians. Build your dream house, just like the other hundreds of thousands of Californians. Make sure you have a view of the mountains, just like the other hundreds of thousands of Californians. Build it with a household use water permit, just like the other hundreds of thousands of Californians.
And horses! You need horses! Build a stable and put up pipe fencing. Paint them white just like the other Californians.
The water inspector will be along shortly. He knew what was going to happen from the time the foundation was laid. He's been waiting. He will tell you that you cannot water livestock on a household use permit. You will argue. You will tell him that it is the dumbest thing that you have ever heard. You will threaten to sue, just like the other Californians.
He will smile and tell you that he will let it slide if you can get the horses to go up to the house, get a glass from the cupboard, fill it at the faucet, then sit down and drink it at the kitchen table. He will snicker at his own joke even though he's used it dozens or hundreds of times before. You will order him off of your property and he will go. You will call your lawyer, just like the other Californians.
Your lawyer will tell you that the inspector is right. You will need to buy water from a service which will haul it to you or buy an ag permit. You find out how much either will cost and decide to cheat the system, just like the other Californians.
The inspector is ready for this, too. He knows what you will do and how you will do it. He goes through this every day. He will catch you and lock your meter or your well. With no water you will break the locks. The sheriff will be along shortly to haul you to the hoosegow. You will be thrown in with the rapists and drug dealers and the other Californians with a beef with Colorado water law.
When you go before the judge be sure and tell him that it was just a little water in the grand scheme of things. Tell him how they do it in California and how they ought to do it in Colorado. Coloradans really, really, like to hear these things from Californians. When he sentences you to break rocks until Pike's Peak is an ant hill get huffy and threaten to take it to the Supreme Court.
The Supreme Court has heard it all before, dozens of times from dozens of different angles. Colorado water law has withstood legal assault since it originated in 1864. You will lose.
Then you will do what many of the other Californians do; move back to California, muttering all the way.
That’s a different angle than I came up with, but there are sometimes advantages to attacking problems from other than an obvious direction.
I’m not moving there, and I don’t plan on living my life with my pants pulled down and bent over with the government doing what it wants without a lubricant. It’s a choice you have evidently made.
Sheesh, and I thought California was supposed to be the place filled with idiots.
Several years ago during the drought the old hippies who seem to congregate around Durango were putting out rain barrels to water plants and for their annual bath. The state began to cite them and they howled like banshees. It did them no good as the law was ironclad.
Consider the plight of the poor people of Vail. Permits there are for household use only. Hottubs are not a household use. If you have a hottub the annual water use is calculated and you are responsible for replacing that number of gallons from a source outside of that watershed.
The Colorado River Compact allocates Colorado so many acre feet of Colorado River water. That water is pumped from the western slope to the cities of the eastern slope where it is needed.
To replace the water on the watersheds of the western slope hottub owners must drive to Denver and haul water from the eastern slope which has been piped from the western slope back over the divide and pour it on the ground on the western slope where it evaporates and falls as rain on the eastern slope. That's how tight Colorado water laws are.
I do not live in Colorado but the water laws of most western states are based on Colorado law and they are getting stricter and closer to Colorado law all the time. It is a matter of necessity.
That is the essential abstraction underlying my environmental management business method. It is also the essence of a mitigation market.
Thus, to regulate is ALWAYS a taking, a market in which government has no business meddling. It should instead make sure that fraud in such contracts is redressed.
I don’t know about Oregon, but WA state doesn’t need the UN to direct it’s imperialistic treatment of the rural areas of the state. In WA, there is no such thing as “suburbia”. Either it is a city or town, or it is “unincorporated area with no self rule, colonies, if you will, of the state, with some local county rule that must adhere to strict guidelines laid down by the state.
The rural areas of the state are the colonies that exist solely at the pleasure of the state, to be regulated and exploited for the greater good of the state. The law suit over the water rights, state that there are no water rights on private property, except those that were deeded before some Indian Treaty. The goal is to meter all well water and limit the amount of water the property owner can use and charge the property owner for what he does use.
It is not a necessity. Please, get that out of your head. That’s the part you glossed over to wax rhapsodic about Californians. At least think about this. Perhaps you’ve been indoctrinated to buy into this your whole life. They could indoctrinate for a thousand years, and it still wouldn’t be true.
What I see here is a person who seems to be defending the idiotic management of an important resource by government. Since when do we buy into what the government tells us, without question? They have told you that you can’t get along without them. And you being a FReeper actually bought into it, and simply will not listen to common sense?
6.734 quadrillion cubic inches of rain falls on Colorado on average each year. That converts to 346.66 trillion gallons of water. If every person living Colorado used 1,000 gallons per day, every day, it would only account for 0.539% of the total rainfall in the state. 99.46% of the water that falls on Colorado would still enter the (water resource) pipeline as it always has. And yet, how many people do you know who are using 1,000 gallons per day for each family member in their household?
Do you honestly believe everyone elsewhere downstream dies if 0.539% of Colorado’s water is used in-state? And while you’re giving that some thought, do you really think each person in the state uses 1,000 gallons per day?
Look at the absurd run-around process you mentioned to me. And then realize that you or whoever is giving you this information, does not have to live like that.
I live downstream from you. You’ve got my permission to use the full 0.53% of your own water. Tell the Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reed, and Barack Obama types to go F off.
I can’t believe the folks up there haven’t given the boot to Colorado officials long before this.
OK....here in Oregon they charge us for the “STORMWATER” that runs to the streets, and down the drains....A lady called into Lars Larson making a great point....if that STORMWATER is NOT OURS, then why are they CHARGING us for its drainage? And, if it belongs to the STATE/CITY/COUNTY....then it is THEIRS to TAKE CARE OF....and they can stop charging us the outrageous rates for stormwater drainage....the majority of our water bills!!!
Tell me this is a joke, nobody i that stupid let alone an administrator of the Oregon Water Resources Department.
Oh wait, never mind he’s a government employee.
Thanks for the post!
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I don’t think he should be jailed, I was just commenting on the complexities of water rights in The West.
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