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[ft-l] Government and nature, some fun.

I think DER is a necessary evil so don't get the impression that I loath all
refulation, but being good Americans it is fun to take a jab at the
regulators to keep things in prospective.  I hope you enjoy the letter.

>From the Internet - and you know that everything from the Internet is
>checked and double checked!  Here it is:
>This is an actual letter sent to a man named Ryan DeVries by the
>Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, State of Michigan. And his
>********************************************** Mr. Ryan DeVries
>2088 Dagget Pierson, MI 49339
>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 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 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
>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
>First of all, Mr. Ryan DeVries 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 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
>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 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
>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.
>Sincerely, Stephen L.Tvedte