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This is an actual letter and a response, if it was not such an arrogant display of government bullying it would be hilarious to say the least the sad part ...
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- 09-09-2006 #1
- Join Date
- Sep 2006
Ha ha! Dam Beavers (would penguins do?)
(This is the State's 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
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 of Part 301, Inland Lakes and Streams, of the Natural Res
ource 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 this nature are inherently hazardous and cannot be
TheDepartment 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, 2005.
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. Price, District Representative Land and Water
Here is the actual response sent back by Mr. DeVries:
ReEQ 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 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. 30101to 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 beavers are financially destitute and are unable to pay for said
representation -- so the State will have to provide them with a dam
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 water flows 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 1/31/2005?
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
watch your step! (The bears are not careful where they
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.