Man Goes To Jail For Collecting Rainwater On His Own Property
Kendra Alleyne writes at CNSNews.com about Gary Harrington, an Oregon man who was convicted of collecting rainwater and snow runoff on his property who’s just begun serving a 30-day jail sentence for it:
“I’m sacrificing my liberty so we can stand up as a country and stand for our liberty,” Harrington told a small crowd of people gathered outside of the Jackson County (Ore.) Jail.
…Harrington was found guilty two weeks ago of breaking a 1925 law for having, what state water managers called “three illegal reservoirs” on his property. He was convicted of nine misdemeanors, sentenced to 30 days in jail and fined over $1500 for collecting rainwater and snow runoff on his property.
The Oregon Water Resources Department, claims that Harrington has been violating the state’s water use law by diverting water from streams running into the Big Butte River.
But Harrington says he is not diverting the state’s water — merely collecting rainwater and snow melt that falls or flows on his own property.
According to Oregon water laws, all water is publicly owned. Therefore, anyone who wants to store any type of water on their property must first obtain a permit from state water managers.
Though the state Water Resources Department initially approved Harrington’s permits in 2003, the state, and a state court, ultimately reversed the decision.
Harrington said: “They issued me my permits. 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.”