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  • To: Yank2002(--nospam--at)
  • Subject: Dam
  • From: Mark34667(--nospam--at)
  • Date: Tue, 4 Aug 1998 21:30:27 EDT
This was an actual letter from and a reply to the Michigan
Department of Environmental Quality, State of Michigan:

Mr. Ryan De Vries
2088 Dagget
Pierson, MI 49339

Dear Mr. DeVries:

SUBJECT: DEQ File No. 97-59-0023-1 T11N, R10W,
Sec. 20, Montcalm County

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 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
unauthorized 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 31,1998.

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.


David L. Price
District Representative
Land and Water Management Division


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. You sent out a great deal of carbon copies to
a lot of people, but you neglected to include their addresses.
You will, therefore, have to send them a copy of my response.

First of all, Mr. Ryan De Vries is not the legal landowner and/or
contractor at 2088 Dagget, Pierson, Michigan - I am the legal
owner and 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 supervised their dam project,
I think they would be highly offended that you call their skillful
use of natural 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 first must 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 451of 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 -- being unable to read English) -- be sure they are read
the Miranda rights first. As for me, I am not going to cause
more flooding or dam debris jams by interfering with these
dam builders. If you want to hurt these dam beavers -- be
aware I am sending a copy of your dam letter and this
response to PETA. If your dam Department seriously finds
all dams of this nature inherently hazardous and truly will
not permit their existence in this State -- I seriously hope
you are not selectively enforcing this dam policy - or once
again both I and the Spring Pond Beavers will scream prejudice!

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 right than I do to live and enjoy Spring Pond.
If the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental
Protection lives 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 1/31/98?  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 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 via another
government organization - the dam USPS. Maybe, someday,
it will get there.


Stephen L. Tvedten

cc: PETA

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