Dam laws and beavers

English: The habitat of beavers

English: The habitat of beavers (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Subject :
Dam Laws

Sent :
This is an actual letter sent to a man named Ryan DeVries
by the Michigan Department of  Environmental Quality, State of
Michigan. This guy’s response is hilarious, but read the States
letter before you get to the response letter.
SUBJECT: DEQ File No. 97-59-0023; T11N; R10W, Sec. 20;
Montcalm County

Dear Mr. DeVries:
It has come to the attention of the Department of
Environmental Quality  that there has been recent
unauthorized activity on the  above referenced   parcel of
property. You have been certified as the legal  landowner
and/or contractor who did the following unauthorized activity:
Construction and maintenance of two wood debris dams
across the outlet  stream of Spring Pond.

A permit must be issued prior to the start of this type of activity. A
review of the Department’s files shows that no permits
have been issued. Therefore, the Department has determined
that this  activity is in  violation Part 301, Inland Lakes
and Streams, of the   Natural Resource  and Environmental
Protection Act, Act 451 of the Public Acts of 1994, being
sections 324.30101 to  324.30113 of the Michigan Compiled
Laws, annotated.

The Department has been informed that one
or both of the   dams partially failed during a recent rain event,
causing debris and  flooding at  downstream locations.
We find that dams of this nature are   inherently hazardous
and cannot be permitted. The Department therefore orders you
to  cease and desist all activities at this location, and to
restore the  stream to a free-flow condition by removing
all wood and  brush forming the dams from the stream channel.
All restoration work shall   be completed no  later than
January 31, 2003.

Please notify this office when the restoration has been
completed so  that a follow-up site inspection may be scheduled
by our staff.  Failure to comply with this request or any further
unauthorized activity on the site may result in this case being
referred for  elevated  enforcement action. We anticipate and
would appreciate  your full  cooperation in this matter.
Please feel free to contact me at this office if you have
any questions.
Sincerely,
David L.PriceDistrictRepresentativeLand and Water
Management Division

** This is the actual response sent back: **
Re: DEQ File No. 97-59-0023; T11N ; R10W, Sec. 20;
Montcalm County

Dear Mr. Price:
Your certified letter dated 12/17/02 has been handed to me
to respond to. I am the legal landowner but not the Contractor at 2088
Dagget, Pierson,Michigan.

A couple of beavers are in the (State
unauthorized) process of   constructing and maintaining
two wood “debris” dams across  the outlet stream of my
Spring Pond. While I did not pay for,  authorize, nor
supervise their dam project, I think they would be highly
offended that you call their skillful use of natures building
materials debris.” I would like to challenge your department
to attempt to  emulate their dam  project any time and/or
any place you choose.

I believe I  can safely state there is no way you could ever match their dam skills, their dam resourcefulness, their dam ingenuity, their dam persistence, their dam determination and/or their dam work ethic. As to your request, I do not think the beavers are aware that they must first fill out a dam permit prior to the start of this type of dam  activity.

My first dam question to you is: (1) Are you trying to
discriminate  against my Spring Pond Beavers or
(2) do you require all beavers throughout this State to
conform to said dam request?  If you are not discriminating
against these particular  beavers, through the Freedom of
Information Act, I request completed copies of all those
other applicable beaver dam permits that have been issued.
Perhaps we  will  see if there really is a dam violation of Part
301, Inland  Lakes and Streams, of the Natural Resource
and environmental  Protection Act, Act  451 of the Public
Acts of 1994, being sections 324 30101 to 324.30113 of the
Michigan Compiled Laws, annotated.

I have several concerns.
My first concern is. .. aren’t the  beavers entitled to legal
representation? The Spring Pond Beavers are financially
destitute and are unable to pay for said representation,
so the State will  have to provide them with a dam lawyer.
The Department’s  dam concern that either one or both
of the dams failed during a recent rain  event causing
flooding is proof that this is a natural occurrence, which
the  Department is required to protect. In other words,
we should leave the Spring Pond  Beavers alone rather than
harassing them and calling their dam names.

If you want the stream “restored” to a dam free-flow  condition please contact the beavers, but if you are going to arrest them, they obviously did not pay any attention to your dam letter …they being unable to read  English.

In my humble opinion, the Spring Pond Beavers have a right to build  their unauthorized dams as long as the sky is blue, the grass is  green and waterflows downstream. They have more dam rights than I do to  live and enjoy Spring Pond.

If the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental  Protection lives up to its name, it should protect the natural resources  (Beavers) and the environment  (Beavers’ Dams). So, as far as the beavers and I are concerned, this dam  case can be  referred for more elevated enforcement action right now.  Why wait until 1/31/2003? The Spring Pond Beavers may be under the dam ice then and there will be no way for you or your dam staff to contact/harass them then.

In conclusion, I would like to bring to your attention to
a real  environmental quality (health) problem in the area.
It is  the bears!  Bears  are actually defecating in our woods.
I definitely believe you should be persecuting the defecating
bears and leave the beavers alone. If you are going to investigate
the beaver dam, watch your step! (The bears are not careful
where they  dump!) Being unable to comply with your dam request,
and being unable to  contact you on your dam answering machine,
I am sending this response to your dam office.
Thank You,
Ryan DeVries & The Dam Beavers

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About ColorStorm

Blending the colorful issues of life with the unapologetic truth of scripture.
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