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,
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
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.
** Here is the response sent back by Mr. DeVries: **
Dear Mr. Price,
Your certified letter dated 12/17/02 has been handed to me to respond
I am the legal landowner but not the Contractor at 2088 Dagget, Pierson,
A couple of beavers are in the 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
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 or any place
you choose. I believe I can safely state there is no way you could match
their dam building skills, their resourcefulness, their ingenuity, their
persistence, their determination and/or their 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 activity.
My questions to you are:
(1) Are you trying to
discriminate against my Spring Pond Beavers?
(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 beaver dam permits that have been issued. Perhaps we will see if
there is a 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 324.30101to 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 lawyer. The
Department's concern that either one or both of the dams failed
during a recent rain event, causing flooding, is proof that this is a
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 free-flow condition please
contact the beavers -- but if you are going to arrest them, they
obviously did not pay any attention to your letter, they being
unable to read.
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 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 case can be
referred for more elevated enforcement action right now. Why wait until
1/31/2005? The Spring Pond Beavers may be under the ice then and
there will be no way for you or your staff to harass them then.
Being unable to comply with your request, and being unable to
contact you on your answering machine, I am sending this response to
RYAN DEVRIES & THE DAM BUILDING BEAVERS
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