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Department of Environmental Quality,
State of Michigan.

> >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
> >
> >
> >RESPONSE
> >
> >
> > 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.
> >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 supervise 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 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 "restored" to a dam free-flow condition,
> >please contact the beavers -- but if you are going to arrest them be aware
> >that they obviously did not pay any attention to your dam letter due to
> >inability 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 right 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 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 day office via another government organization -- the dam USPS.
> >Maybe, someday, it will get there.
> >
> > Sincerely,
> >
> > Stephen L. Tvedten
>
 
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