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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.
“They’ve 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, we’ll prevail,” he said.
The court has given Harrington two weeks to report to the Jackson County Jail to begin serving his sentence.
Yet Paul admitted the 1925 law does apply because, he said, Harrington constructed dams to block a tributary to the Big Butte, which Medford uses for its water supply.
“There are dams across channels, water channels where the water would normally flow if it were not for the dam and so those dams are stopping the water from flowing in the channel and storing it- holding it so it cannot flow downstream,” Paul told CNSNews.com.
Harrington, however, argued in court that that he is not diverting water from Big Butte Creek, but the dams capturing the rainwater and snow runoff – or “diffused water” – are on his own property and that therefore the runoff does not fall under the jurisdiction of the state water managers, nor does it not violate the 1925 act.
Originally posted by Common Good
And I was thinking of moving there. I hear its a very liberal state though near Portland and not the Bend area.
Never been there, but I heard it is beautiful. If this is the kind of stuff that goes on there, count me out.
Good man- hes smart- I hear it rains a lot there. Thats probably why the govt is mad- they cant charge him for water. haha.
Bullies is right. WATER- GOD GIVEN RIGHT.