This has been around for awhile, but Keith [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: This has been around for awhile, but Keith

06-17-2003, 07:52 PM
Jackson sent it on and it's too much fun not to 're-share.

Subject: The Dam...

Subject: Dam Letter

This is an actual letter sent to a man named Ryan
DeVries by the Michigan Department of Environmental
Quality, State of Michigan. (Believe it or not)

This guy's response is hilarious, but read the State's
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 un-
authorized activity on the above referenced parcel of
property. You have been certified as the legal landowner
and/or contractor who did the following unauthorized
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 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, 2002. 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 un-
authorized 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.

David L. Price
District Representative Land and Water
Management Division


This is the actual response sent back:

Dear Mr. Price,

Re: DEQ File No. 97-59-0023;
T11N; R10W, Sec. 20; Montcalm County.

Your certified letter dated 12/17/97 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 nature's 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 "re-
stored" 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,
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 1/31/2002? 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,

06-18-2003, 09:01 AM
I have seen this before but I have always wondered what the outcome was. Hopefully the Michigan Dept. of Environmental Quality realized thier stupidity and left the Spring Pond beavers alone. Then again..............................

06-19-2003, 07:03 AM
This is just one typical result of politicians and bureaucrat involvement in what should be controlled by the wildlife professionals.

I'll bet the biologists and conservation officers were laughing quietly over this.

It is now typical of how state agencies are being run these days.