Oct. 7, 2021 — On Wednesday, Oct. 6, the Florence Police Department, assisted by the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office, arrested Raymond Jerome Furr, AKA Raymond Block, for two counts of Criminal Mischief I. Furr has a nonprofit organization called Leaven No Trace and has previously been cited by Florence Police and other law enforcement agencies.
Furr had placed a self-made trash “filter” on the stormwater discharge pipe under the Siuslaw River Bridge. In preparation of the installation of this “filter,” Furr removed rip rap material that protected the stormwater pipe outfall. The rip rap material is an important element in dispersing the force of the stormwater to protect the river bottom from scouring.
Furr’s placement of his “filter” during a storm event scoured a significant trench out into the river. If left unchecked, this erosion, combined with the action of the river, can lead to the failure of the bridge bents of the Siuslaw River Bridge.
Furr placed another self-made trash “filter” on a box culvert on Rhododendron Drive near Marine Manor. During the installation of this “filter,” Furr removed important soil support for trees and removed other vegetation that protects the soils underneath the seasonal waterway. After collecting silt and organic material, along with the naturally occurring iron coagulating on the mesh material of the device, this “filter” would not allow the passage of water through the culvert.
As much as 24 inches of water was being held back by the “filter” and, due to how the “filter” was installed, trees were in danger of falling over and blocking the culvert. Due to this, it posed a significant risk of failure to the roadway and to the residences below.
Florence Police and Public Works were aware of other self-made “filters” that Furr has placed at other stormwater outfalls around the City of Florence. After checking, they found two other “filter” devices that had been washed away by the water and were laying on the ground. All the outfalls were checked to ensure no other systems and surrounding areas or structures are in danger of failing.
Furr had been informed by Florence Public Works Director Mike Miller that permits and engineering considerations would need to be addressed, through proper channels, before placing his “filter” devices on the stormwater outfalls, but that direction was ignored.
Furr was arrested for two counts of Criminal Mischief I and was transported to the Lane County Jail.