Man Sentenced to Prison for Collecting Rain Water on His Own Property as Government Claims Ownership of Every Drop of Water

July 29, 2012   |  


With a government vigorously devoted to criminalizing just about every possible human behavior, it should come as no surprise that a man was sentenced to 30 days in jail for the crime of collecting rainwater on his own property.

Oregon Man Sentenced to 30 Days in Jail — for Collecting Rainwater on His Property

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 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.

Scenarios like this are part of a growing trend wherein the strong arm of the militarized police state directly and forcibly diminishes property rights as the government claims dominion over privately owned real estate, its resources and even the rain that falls from the sky.  Obviously, the implications of this dangerous trend are quite dire and folks will eventually be denied the right to even use their land without a government permit.

What happened in Oregon is very much part of a growing trend that will ultimately be federalized. Presently, the federal government only has control of what is defined as ‘navigable waters’ but the federal government and the EPA have been attempting for year to expand jurisdiction to include ALL water from any source, including rainwater and even the water in your potholes.

A Massive Land and Water Grab

The latest in the long war between a rapacious federal government, filled with departments and agencies seeking to control every square inch of the nation’s land mass has been an audacious power grab by the Environmental Protection Agency in league with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. There are specific steps any agency must take before it can assert federal control of any kind.

Using the original Clean Water Act which permits the EPA to only regulate “navigable waters”, i.e., rivers and lakes, this rogue agency and the Corps is seeking to ignore the restriction and assert control over every body of water in the U.S. including a puddle of rain water or a pond in your backyard. If it weren’t so absurd and so outrageous, it would sound like science fiction, but the science the EPA uses is usually invented out of thin air.

Specifically, the EPA has issued “a guidance document” saying they want to eliminate or just ignore the word “navigable” so they could control “all waters of the United States and all activities affecting all waters of the United States.”…

The permitting process alone, a major instrument of destruction that the EPA and other agencies of the federal government uses, would explode to the point where some bureaucrat in Washington would decide if you could install a pool, dig a drainage ditch, install a watering pond for livestock, and thousands of other common uses of water.

Parenthetically, the federal government owns nearly 650 million acres of land; almost thirty percent of the land area of the nation.

Folks can live without a lot of things but they cannot live without water.  For the government to deny folks the right to water on property they own  is the equivalent of denying them the right to sustain their own lives and the lives of their families.

Of course, if you need water to drink or for your business or for your farm or for your backyard garden, you can always apply for a hard to obtain and expensive government permit and hope that you don’t die while waiting.

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