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The Dam Beavers
Pet Jokes

is an actual letter sent to a man named Ryan De Vries by the
Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, State of Michigan.
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

Dear Mr. DeVries:

It has come to the attention of the Department of Environmental
Quality that there has been recent unauthorized activity on the
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
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
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
inherently hazardous and cannot be permitted. The Department
orders you to cease and desist all activities at this location, and
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 this case being referred for
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


David L. Price

District Representative Land 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
to. I am the legal landowner but not the Contractor at 2088 Dagget,
Pierson, Michigan. A couple of beavers are in the (State
process of constructing and maintaining two wood "debris" dams
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
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
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


(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
all those other applicable beaver dam permits that have been issued.
Perhaps we will see if there really is a dam violation of Part301,
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
is a natural occurrence, which the Department is required to
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
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
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 1/31/2003? The Spring Pond Beavers may be under the dam ice
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 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
to your dam office.

Thank You,

Ryan DeVries & The Dam Beavers

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