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
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
Dear Mr. Price,
Re: DEQ File No. 97-59-0023; T11N; R10W, Sec. 20; Montcalm County.
Your certified letter dated 12/17/01 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.