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Stefanus
28th June 2009, 18:09
SUBJECT: DEQ File No.97-59-0023; T11N; R10W, Sec. 20; Lycoming 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, InlandLakesand 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 Pennsylvania 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, 2006.

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 and Water Management Division.

Black

Here is the actual response sent back by Mr. DeVries:


Re: DEQ File No. 97-59-0023; T11N; R10W, Sec. 20; Lycoming County

Dear Mr. Price,

Your certified letter dated 12/17/02 has been handed to me to respond to.

I am the legal landowner but not the Contractor at 2088 Dagget Lane, Trout Run, Pennsylvania.

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 naturesbuilding 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 areaware 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 Pennsylvania 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 them 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 1/31/2006? 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.

THANK YOU,

RYAN DEVRIES & THE DAM BEAVERS

Stefanus
28th June 2009, 18:11
Beaver Dam

The infamous beaver dam story

This story has been circulating for several years. Is is true? Is it a satire? In an age where public servants follow the letter of the law even if it means imprisoning innocent people or killing small children, does it matter? Laws are intended to facilitate justice and keep the peace. Therefore, the spirit of the law would promote the facilitation of justice and keeping of the peace. Public servants who follow the letter of the law and who have lost sight of its spirit are a menace to the peace and dignity of our communities.


http://manitowishwaters.net/images/Beaver2.jpg http://manitowishwaters.net/images/Beaver5.jpg

http://manitowishwaters.net/images/Beaver3.jpg http://manitowishwaters.net/images/Beaver4.jpg

Stefanus
28th June 2009, 18:33
Claim: The state of Michigan threatened local beavers with a $10,000 per day fine for failing to remove their dam.

Origins: In July 1997, one of Stephen Tvedten's neighbors noticed flooding on his property and traced it back to a dam on Tvedten's stream. The neighbor complained to the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) on 28 July 1997, and five months later the agency responded with a letter to the offending land owner. The letter, from David Price, a local Michigan DEQ official, was blunt: The "construction and maintenance of two wood debris dams across the outlet stream of Spring Pond" was "unauthorized" because "a permit must be issued prior to the start of this type of activity." The letter ordered Stephen Tvedten, the land owner, to "cease and desist" under penalty of "elevated enforcement action."

http://www.wendag.com/forum/picture.php?albumid=45&pictureid=143Mr. Tvedten responded to the Michigan DEQ's demand with the now widely-circulated "dam letter," in which he pointed out that the "debris dams" he had been ordered to remove because they were constructed without permission from the state of Michigan were actually built by beavers. The DEQ later claimed they were fully aware the "debris dams" were beaver dams; the issue, they said, was that the beavers who built them had long since abandoned the dams, but Mr. Tvedten had been continuing to maintain and even build up the dams himself:


The letter concerned an enforcement action directed to a tenant on property surrounding Spring Pond, which is located in Pierson Township, Montcalm County, Michigan. The tenant was observed by the downstream complainant, and has since admitted to the complainant, that he artificially built up, and maintained two abandoned beaver dams on the discharge end of the natural pond. Such an activity falls under the jurisdiction of Part 301, Inland Lakes and Streams, of the Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Act, 1194 PA 451, as amended. It is the Department's position that in the absence of any threat to public welfare, beaver dams should be left in their natural state, that being either actively maintained or abandoned by beaver.

The Department conducted an on-site inspection of the dams in August of 1997, accompanied by a Department of Natural Resources fisheries biologist, the Pierson Township Supervisor and the complainant. The tenant's actions, and a threat to the welfare of the downstream complainant prompted our correspondence of December 1997, instructing the tenant to cease and desist all illegal activity and to restore the stream to its prior condition. The owner of the property took issue with our action, and responded with his own version of the situation. It was this correspondence that has been circulating in the internet.

Luis Saldivia
Grand Rapids District Supervisor
Land and Water Management Division
616-356-0208

For his part, Mr. Tvedten claimed that the dams had been "abandoned" because a neighbor had killed the beavers (then filed a complaint with the state because he was concerned that the untended dams would break apart and enter his property) and that no one but the beavers had ever maintained them. And contemporaneous accounts of the brouhaha quoted a Michigan DEQ spokesman as saying the agency <U>hadn't</U> performed an inspection before firing off their December 1997 letter to Mr. Tvedten:


Ken Silfven, public information officer at the state Department of Environmental Quality, said that ... the account was correct. He hastened to note, however, that the case was prompted by a complaint from a neighbor who was concerned about flooding caused by the dams.

The department dropped its investigation after an inspection by a DEQ employee.

"It probably would have been a good idea to do the inspection before we sent the notice," Silfven said.

After some wrangling the agency ultimately dropped the issue, but not before Stephen Tvedten found an inventive way of quickly pointing out both how ludicrous and humorous the situation was. In a way dusty legal language never could, such a letter serves to drive home the silliness of Michigan DEQ's intractable posturing. The beavers are likely still ignorant of how close they came to being fined $10,000 a day for dam living expenses.

Barbara "in Michigan, transforming from guardian of the law to giardia of it just took a touch of beaver fever" Mikkelson

The URL for this page is http://www.snopes.com/humor/letters/dammed.asp

Sources:

Mastio, David. "The Strange Tail of the Outlawed Michigan Beaver Dam."

The Detroit News. 5 April 1998 (p. B5).

Associated Press. "State Gives Beavers Cease-and-Desist Order."

31 March 1998.

The Wall Street Journal. "The Spring Pond Beavers."

3 March 1998 &nbsp; (p. A18).