One Oregon couple has been told that they must destroy a 2-acre pond on their land. This is the properties most attractive feature, and has been on the property for over 40 years!
Jon and Sabrina Carey purchased their property in Butte Falls almost three years ago. The pond has been on this 10-acre property of over 40 years and is now being targeted by the government. The couple wants nothing more than to keep their beautiful pond. Even though they desperately pleaded with the Medford Water Commission in hopes to have it adopt the pond and treat it as a water source they would not.
Several other residents in the area have dealt with issues like this, and a resident of Eagle Point, Gary Harrington actually spent 90 days in jail for harboring 13 million gallons of rainwater. All of this rainwater Harrington was harboring was in his ponds. Several he had on different parts of his property. According to the government, a law from 1925 dictates that the water in those ponds belongs to the Medford Water Commission.
While Harrington’s case is a little bit different than the Careys’ case it is still very important. There was no issue with the pond on the Carey’s property until Jon sought to grow legal medical cannabis on the land. In order to get what he needed to grow, he had to prove that the couple had a viable water source on their property.
Based on what the Watermaster’s Office has said the previous owners did not go through the process of obtaining a permit for the pond. This making the Careys in violation of Oregon regulations, leaving them to pay to have their pond drained. This pond actually serves as a water source for many different kinds of animals in the area as it is and does a good bit for the environment by existing. Local firefighters are even supporting the family in hopes to keep the pond where it is. They have mentioned that the pond itself would be essential if a forest fire were to break out in the area.
Although the couple has been trying to figure out a way to keep their pond and still abide by the law it appears the government will not rest until the whole thing is done away with. This is disgusting. The government should not be allowed to entitle themselves to something on private property. Something so simple. We as humans should be allowed to collect rainwater. Whether the Carey’s will be allowed to keep their pond or not is still up in the air, only time will tell.