Update: This article is total bull shit…
Here at the EF! Newswire, we received a response from a local EF!er on this story, which we felt was worthy of relaying on to readers:
“This is total bullshit by the way. I live in Jackson County, and work on the protection of water resources. This guy built dams on ephemeral streams and created ponds that hold 40 acre feet of water. For non-water geeks, that that’s one acre of water, 40 feet tall. That’s a lot of water.
As much as I may not be thrilled with my local rag, they got this one right. [According to the article: "Water managers say the water Harrington has captured is a tributary of nearby Crowfoot Creek.
It is troubling that the government apparently can enforce jurisdiction over every drop of water in the Bug Butte Springs Watershed. But anyone hoping to see the law reconsidered should find a more sympathetic victim of government overreach."]
Creating dams on streams and removing it from the ecosystem isn’t cool folks. There are Earth First!ers out there using the system to try and keep water in the streams. This guy ain’t one of them.
Don’t swallow the tea party line.”
Thanks for calling us out, folks. Below is the original article, for reference. We apologize for allowing this to be carelessly reprinted. Lesson hard learned…
Oregon Criminalizes Permaculture; Claims State Ownership Over All Rainwater – Ponds and Swales Restricted – Jail Time for Violators
July 29 2012
by Mike Adams, the Health Ranger, NaturalNews Editor naturalnews.com
There’s nothing more refreshing than standing in a cool, summertime rain shower. Or bathing in the warm sunlight on a crisp spring day. Or inhaling the cool autumn air, fresh with the scent of turning leaves and pine needles. These things — rainwater, sunlight, air — have long been assumed to be not only free, but un-claimable. You can’t claim to own the sunlight that falls on my front yard, for example. A corporation can’t claim intellectual property ownership over the air that you breathe and demand you pay a royalty for inhaling.
But today, Jackson County, Oregon says it owns YOUR rainwater, and the county has sentenced a man to 30 days in jail and fined him over $1500, for the supposed “crime” of collecting rainwater on his own property.
The man’s name is Gary Harrington, and he owns over 170 acres of land in Jackson County. On that land, he has three ponds, and those ponds collect rainwater that falls on his land. Common sense would say Gary has every right to have ponds with water on his 170 acres of land, but common sense has been all but abandoned in the state of Oregon.
Much like California, Oregon is increasingly becoming a collectivist state. You didn’t build that! The government built that! You don’t own that! The government owns that! That rainwater that just fell on your land? That’s the government’s rainwater, and you’re going to jail if you try to steal from the government!
That’s the explanation from Jackson County officials, who initially granted Harrington “permits” to build ponds back in 2003. Yes, in Oregon you actually need to beg for permission from the government just to have a pond on your own land. But the state of Oregon revoked his permits a few years later, after he had already created the ponds, thus putting Harrington in the position of being a “water criminal” who was “stealing” rainwater from the state.
Tom Paul, administrator of the Oregon Water Resources Department, is an obedient water Nazi. He insists, “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.”
What he means, of course, is not that the water is “public” water, but that it’s government water. The government owns it, and if you “steal” from the government by, for example, collecting rainwater off your own roof, you will go to jail.
Thus, even when rainwater falls on your own property, you don’t own it! The government owns it. You didn’t build that! The government built that. That’s not YOUR land, you only lease it from the King, and by the way, your property tax is due again…
Harrington said that he will never stop fighting the government on this issue. As reported in CNS News: “When something is wrong, you just, as an American citizen, you have to put your foot down and say, This is wrong; you just can’t take away anymore of my rights and from here on in, I’m going to fight it.” (http://cnsnews.com/news/article/oregon-man-sentenced-30-days-jail-col…)