"Water is the Life blood of all"

This is an actual letter sent to a man named Ryan DeVries by the Michigan
Department of Environmental Quality, State of Michigan.

This guy's response is hilarious, but read the State's letter before you get
to the response letter.

(State's letter) 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, show 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, 2003.
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,
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, Pierson, Michigan.

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 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 Ac t, Act451 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 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 1/31/2003? The Spring Pond Beavers may
be under the dam ice then, and there will be no way for you or your dam
staff to 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

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