Oregon Couple Told They Have No Water Rights, Forced to Destroy Their Own Pond

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Top Tier Gear USA

Editor’s Note: Here’s yet another way the system is trying to make it impossible to go “off grid”…


Remember the Oregon ‘Rain Man’ or Gary Harrington — who was sent to 30 days in Jackson County Jail and slapped with a $1,500 fine for collecting rainwater on his 170-acre property? He was ordered to breach his dams and drain his ponds that held more than 13 million gallons of water, enough to fill 20 Olympic-sized swimming pools.

Now, an Oregon couple faces a similar fate as Gary Harrington because the rain belongs to the overbearing government, because corporate greed claims water is not a human right, and because Americans are not entitled to do what they please on their private property.

The Jackson County Watermaster’s office has told Jon and Sabrina Carey to destroy their 2-acre pond — built 40 years ago, long before they bought the 10-acre property off Butte Falls Highway two and a half years ago — as they don’t have any water rights.

“I basically bought a lemon. That’s how they explained it to me.”

The county had no issues with the pond until Jon sought to grow legal medical cannabis on his property. He was then required to produce proof that he had a viable source of water for cannabis cultivation.

Although the county records clearly show the pond, the Watermaster’s Office claimed the previous owners had not received a permit for the pond so the Careys were now in violation of Oregon regulations — and they would have to shoulder the cost of draining the water. As a result, the Careys stopped using pond water and resorted to trucking in water from Butte Falls for their household and garden needs.


Since the Medford Water Commission has rights to the watershed around Careys’ property — where Medford’s primary source of water, Big Butte Springs, is located — its staff denied Careys request to adopt the pond and treat it as a municipal water source so that the water could be used for emergency firefighting, wildlife habitat and as an additional source for municipal needs.

In spite of the government claiming ownership of rainwater as part of the public water supply, it still rejected the Careys’ plea to treat their pond as part of public property. Mail Tribune reports:

“Water Commission staff found several problems with the Careys’ request, including setting a precedent that could prompt similar requests and weaken state statutes while not meeting the definition of ‘municipal water source’. The staff found it would be very difficult to access the water stored in the pond for municipal reasons, and further monitoring and following up on compliance issues would be difficult and costly for the commission.”

Careys’ attorney, Sarah Liljefelt, who filed a request with Jackson County to provide the couple a permit to store water, says:

“The reservoir on Ms. Carey’s property, though small, is one of the largest in the area. In the past, the pond has been used for fire suppression and is accessible to fire trucks from Butte Falls Highway. The pond is an important source of water for beavers, otters, elk, deer, bear, mountain lion, bobcat, bald eagle osprey, great blue heron, snowy egret, Canada geese and the western pond turtle.”

The couple have agreed to not use the pond water for their household and garden needs and keep the pond for wildlife, fire suppression and for any purpose specified by the Medford Water Commission. They’ve also agreed to reduce the size of the pond from about 12 acre feet of water to 9.2 acre feet; execute an easement to the city of Medfore to flood the property, access the reservoir, and cause the reservoir to be drained any time the city deems necessary; and assume all costs associated with permitting, construction, maintenance and liability. However, the Medford Water Commission is unmoved.

“I’m terrified right now… I am trying to work with the various government agencies to resolve this issue so the property doesn’t lose one of its most valuable assets. We’re just trying to do it by the rules. I’m trying to cooperate.”

The couple recently received support from firefighting agencies that need the water for wildfires. A letter from the Oregon Department of Forestry to the Water Commission supported retaining the reservoir to help suppress wildfires and provide enough water for a multiday operation. Neal Laugle, state aviation manager for ODF, wrote:

“I would like to urge the Medford Water Commission to consider keeping the reservoir in place at its current capacity for the purpose of providing a long-term water source for wildland firefighting. Without the water, it could increase the length of a wildfire fight and could lead to more destructive wildfires.”

Related Reads

Rainwater Collection Being Criminalized in U.S. To Solidify Total Government Dependence

Court Officials Who Jailed a Veteran for Living Off-Grid Were “Just Doing Their Jobs”

Tiny Homes Banned in U.S. at Increasing Rate as Govt Criminalizes Sustainable Living

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

Alabama City Suing Couple to Get Back on the Grid, Threatens Arrest

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  • Ring…ring….”Hello Government, I’d like to unsubscribe from your service please…”

    • AmericaAwakens

      Ditto! Government has expanded to far on our USA Constitutional Rights! It seems there only a few “liberties” that they “allow the people”, #1 T-paper & contaminated air to breathe. These a$$e$ in gov think we, the people, are too stupid or not able to handle their own “natural” water. I am so disgusted & I want GBG to tell me where I can unsubscribe from all the politics and (their stupid new laws) that stifle our GOD given rights!!

  • g.johnon

    so, when it becomes obvious that the law works against us, why do we continue to put out the expenses and the time to try in vain to try to make it work for us?

    these pricks gotta be in the ground. there is just no other way to go any more.

    • ReverendDraco✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ ᵃᶜᶜᵒᵘᶰᵗ

      these pricks gotta be in the ground. there is just no other way to go any more.

      As much as I hate to say it. . . It’s getting to be about that time

      • Tammymwilson

        Google is paying 97$ per hour! Work for few hours and have longer with friends & family! !uu362c:
        On tuesday I got a great new Land Rover Range Rover from having earned $8752 this last four weeks.. Its the most-financialy rewarding I’ve had.. It sounds unbelievable but you wont forgive yourself if you don’t check it
        ➽➽;➽➽ http://GoogleFinancialJobsCash652ShopMetroGetPay$97Hour ★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★::::::!uu362c:….,……..

      • The Grump

        The Tree of Liberty is in need.

  • YeahRightOkay

    …the five most feared words for Americans…”hello I am from the goverment”…quoted from some dead former president…RIP Ronnie…we miss you still today…

    • jimmy joe

      Your not referring to reagan, the guy responsible for death squads in central america, supported by us, the taxpayer, Then, shipping their coke up here, and arresting american’s for possessing/using the same dope they shipped here! That’s not who you are referring to is it??

      • Elaine.Benes, II

        LOL. Love it.

      • YeahRightOkay

        …such an immature feeble mind…those were words used to make a point…but I guess you don’t understand simple English…or articles pointing this out…

        • jimmy joe

          You know, your right, like I always said, that guy hitler, perhaps you heard of him, well, anyway, he was the first leader/fuhrer to enact a 40 hour work week, and anything over, was required overtime pay!! Yea, what a cool guy for setting that standard, eh?? The improvements that were done regarding transportation were impeccable,as well, wouldn’t you agree?

      • GenEarly

        That was Bush the Elder and Bubba C. enabling the CIA drug diversity pogrom. No person is perfect, but Reagan was the first and only breath of some Liberty since Calvin Coolidge.
        Bush the Elder tried to have Reagan whacked a la JFK so Reagan must have been at least an American. Not so much the putz potuses since until MAGA Trump, who also is an imperfect human being.
        You are free to step up, JJ; if you can do better, by all means. run for mayor or town council or bd of edumencation. Seriously, I see your profile and you would have my vote. But at some point anarchy fails and leaders have to be honestly chosen.

        • jimmy joe

          Well, thank you for the compliment, but, I live in Wyoming, where, practically everyone actually thinks there is a difference between republicrats and democans. Not to mention, I am working class, so, that is virtually impossible. I do not agree with you on the reagan thing though. I find it hard to believe that he never knew anything about all that violence in central america, centered around the US policies. Not to mention that pesky drug war here at home! Way too many REAL AMERICANS got caught up in that and had their entire lives ruined for ever!! Guess who NEVER gets caught up in the drug war/civil asset forfeiture bullshit. You might have realized that there is a certain class of citizens, the laws, that are passed by very corrupt criminals, do NOT apply to? As far as anarchy, the rule of law only applies to us, AMERICANS anyway,and you know that, so, as far as many of us are concerned, anarchy would be a welcome policy change!! I do not trust ANYBODY running under the 2-party dictatorship! As far as trump is concerned, I really don’t think he is going to care what you OR I want, rather, he will be way more concerned with goldman sachs and their henchmen. He does NOT care about us, the taxpayer, I know that because he calls himself a republicrat!

          • GenEarly

            I can understand your viewpoint, it’s not unreasonable considering past history. The past history of the US from the very beginning has been much of the same it not worse with domestic wars and strife.
            So just ignoring politics is understandable, yet here you are commenting.
            With governmental tyranny growing like exposed in this article, avoidance is not going to be a luxury we can afford or avoid. At some point we have to join a “tribe” to survive, as imperfect as it may be.
            I do wish us all well, we will need it.

          • Jay Pad

            Join the tribe of peace Cub Scout not war. The US intervention in others countries affairs can be sum up in a couple of words,, money making, natural resources and imperialism driven to belittle countries into tiny pieces. The US is in deep trouble financially Cub Scout. Several countries will be calling out their loans and the bondholders as well but the US will be not be to pay most of their debt back. The dollar is at it’s last cycle Cub Scout thanks to the Federal Reserve Bank and big Corporate Fascist America. http://www.usdebtclock.org

          • figmo

            Just another example of the EPA like its lord and master, obama, unlawfully dealing itself power and authority. Trump will change that. By the way, our 5th Amendment prohibits the government from taking property without paying just compensation. A lake or pond lawfully on someone’s property is a valuable property right. When we finally realize that Obama used the EPA as a tool in his overall unlawful power grab, we won’t miss it when Trump dissolves it along with other useless federal agencies that attach themselves like blood sucking leeches to the backs of the taxpayers. As I recall, the federal government only was given authority over “navigable waterways”. While it has stretched this limitation to include shallow creeks that were once navigated by indians in their canoes, applying it to isolated free standing small bodies of water is beyond absured. Those powers not given to the federal government in our Constitution shall remain in the States.

  • traitors and subversives are making and enforcing laws in the US…….you need to do more then just drain the swamp…..

    • DEB

      Not to worry…when the Cascadia subduction zone finally decides to shift, everything west of I 5 will fall into the ocean and be destroyed anyway.

  • Gil G

    The old concept of Riparian Water Rights has apparently been lost on Libertarians.

  • Stew E

    What is with thes cock suckers, someone whom says he owns the rain should be put down like a mad dog.

    • DEB

      ugh…that would be Obamanation…with a quick stroke of his pen, he proclaimed the rights to any and all bodies of water…including parking lot puddles last year. Now, where do I get tickets for the ‘Put Down of the Clown’? I want front row seats.

  • NonYo Business

    resistance is youre only option. Cooperation is deferring to their judgement and being a little bitch.

  • Elaine.Benes, II

    is this shit really for real?

    • DEB

      Unfortunately, yes.I used to think Oregon was a good state but it is quickly becoming a bedroom county of CaliFornicatu.

      • Elaine.Benes, II

        i can’t tell if anything is real or not these days…but i do believe its real because this is the way they will start creating the new normal for new mass restrictions on what people can do on or with their own property…which of course will open the door for them to take the property…not that they don’t already. wow. just wow.

        • DEB

          They don’t want anyone to be self sufficient. Lots of states are passing laws making it illegal to to be hooked up to the ‘grid’, live in a home on wheels, AKA a ‘tiny’ home or build earthships (that are also self contained). All we can do at this point is hope to God that things will start turning around with this new administration. Otherwise, our only choices will be be stand our ground, allow ourselves to be beat down or leave the country. Anyway you look at it, there will be big changes. Let’s hope they will be good ones.

  • Jonny Ringworm

    They elected them. They wanted a liberal government, this is what happenes

  • G’ma G

    “I am trying to work with the various government agencies to resolve this issue…”
    Lesson learned: They don’t want to work with you or be reasonable. They just want control.
    Here’s a couple suggestions if anyone can get this to these folks:
    1. Submit a bill to the Watermaster for the cost of filling his order to remove the pre-existing pond.
    2. Search the tax records to see if the pond is calculated into the property value. If so then one government (county) has sanctioned the pond and can be billed for any changes since the county benefited from the increased taxes.
    3. File a cease and desist order to make the Watermaster stop Trespassing his rain (property) on your land.
    4. Submit a bill for the damage the rain does to the property–erosion, contributing to the deterioration of your structures or water damage from roof leaks, etc. You get the idea.
    Cheers from berrybestfarm at protonmail dot com

  • Jonny Ringworm

    My daughter lives there, they brainwashed her into being a good little liberal. Reminds me of california

  • The Grump

    The Jackson County Watermaster’s office…. REALLY??? What fluckin moron created that position?

  • gary hillerich

    “The drive of the Rockefellers and their allies is to create a one-world government combining supercapitalism and Communism under the same tent, all under their control…. Do I mean conspiracy? Yes I do. I am convinced there is such a plot, international in scope, generations old in planning, and incredibly evil in intent” – Congressman Larry McDonald [before he was assassinated by the Rockefellers]

    ..this waterclusterfluck is NWO agenda 2030 insanity at its finest..I urge EVERYONE to contact these insane morons at the Medford Water Commission and tell them to enjoy the hell lake of fire they’re headed for soon! — God’s real children are one day soon going to be in Christ’s new kingdom on earth with Jesus Christ in charge!..a perfect world of love,peace,prosperity,harmony.. no government..no bankster’s war and no Satan mucking up the world, as he is chained up with the Rothschild’s,Rockefeller’s and all other “unsaved” and Zionists for one thousand years ..a perfect world we all so desperately want and need and are patiently waiting and praying for –.PLUCK THE NEW WORLD ORDER AND ALL ITS SATANIC MINIONS at the Medford Water Commission! they ARE going to L where they belong..this scum won’t be in Christ’s new Kingdom on the new earth.. thank God.
    Hallelujah.PRAISE THE LORD Godspeed to all my fellow Christians!

  • TomToasty

    Oregon used to be a nice place…the Libbie enviro-terrorists have just about destroyed the whole state.

  • GenEarly

    it just brings tears of joy to my eyes to see the various local Stasi governmental agencies and co-operating sheeple citizens getting along sooooo well.
    Oregone is a progreSSive Utopia of love.

  • Armand Vaquer

    That’s what happens when you have California liberals move into your state and take over its government.