Source: Natural News, by Ethan A. Huff
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 News reports 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.”