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

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 ********s. 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 ********, 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.


David L. Price

District Representative Land and Water Management Division

purple divider !

** This is the actual response sent back: **

Dear Mr. Price,

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

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,

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 reque st 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 1/31/2003? The Spring Pond
Beavers may be under the dam ice then and there will be no way for you or
your dam staff to contact/harass them then.

In conclusion, I would l ike 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



Author unknown