An Oregon couple is being forced to destroy a pond that they have on their own property. It isn’t hurting anyone, it is beautiful and it’s actually better for the environment to keep it in tact. Yet, none of this matters to the government. They only care about all rain water belonging to them. They have to destroy any rain water that doesn’t belong to them.
“I basically bought a lemon,” said Jon, who became teary-eyed at the edge of the partially ice-covered body of water being targeted by government, in an interview with the Mail Tribune. “That’s how they explained it to me.”
But the couple desperately wants to keep the stunning longstanding feature in tact, so, as the Mail Tribunereports, the Careys have “pleaded with the Medford Water Commission to adopt the pond and treat it as a municipal water source, something Jackson County Watermaster Larry Menteer has opposed because of the precedent it would set.
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“The Water Commission has rights to the watershed around the Careys’ property, where dozens, if not hundreds, of ponds are located, as well as Medford’s primary source of water, Big Butte Springs.”
“When you’re honest, they take everything away from you,” said Sabrina Carey, who inspected country records — which plainly showed the pond — before they purchased the property.
Going by the book might have been the ‘fatal’ error for the couple, however, since the county didn’t take issue with the pond until Jon sought to grow legal medical cannabis on the land and had to prove there was a viable source of water for the grow operation.
According to the Watermaster’s Office, 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.
In an effort to prove the pond is legitimate and persuade county government to allow it to remain on the property, the couple stopped using it — even though the well on their land had run dry — and began shipping in the water for daily living and gardening from nearly Butte Falls.
They’ve also had no choice but to hire attorney Sarah Liljefelt, who filed a request with Jackson County to provide a permit for them to store water, stating, “The reservoir on Ms. Carey’s property, though small, is one of the largest in the area.”
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