Mr. Ryan DeVries
Pierson, MI 49339
Dear Mr. DeVries:
SUBJECT: DEQ File No. 97-59-0023-1 T11N, R10W, Sec. 20, Montcalm Count-,),
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 dams 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 unauthorized 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 strewn channel. All restoration work
shall be completed no later than January 31, 1998. 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.
David L. Price
Land and Water Management Division
Grand Rapids District Office
State Office Bldg., 6th Floor
350 Ottawa, N.W.
Grand Rapids, MI 49503-2341
Dear Mr. Price:
Re: DEQ File No. 97-59-0023; T11N, R10W, Sec 20; Montcalm County
Your certified letter dated 12/17/97 has been handed to me to respond
to. You sent out a great deal of carbon copies to a lot of people,
but you neglected to include their addresses. You will, therefore,
have to send them a copy of my response.
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, nor authorize their dam project, I think they
would be highly offended you call their skillful use of natural building
materials "debris". I would like to challenge you to attempt to emulate
their dam project any dam time and/or any dam place you choose. I
believe I can safely state there is no dam 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 dam request the beavers first must fill out a dam permit
prior to the start of this type of dam activity, my first dam question
to you is: are you trying to discriminate against my Spring Pond
Beavers or do you require all dam beavers throughout this State to conform
to said dam request? If you are not discriminating against these
particular beavers, please send me completed copies of all those other
applicable beaver dam permits. 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. My first concern is - aren't the dam beavers entitled
to dam legal representation? The Spring Pond Beavers are financially
destitute and are unable to pay for said dam 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 dam flooding is proof we should leave
the dam Spring Pond Beavers alone rather than harassing them and calling
their dam names. If you want the dam stream "restored" to a dam free-flow
condition - contact the dam beavers - but if you are going to arrest them
(they obviously did not pay any dam attention to your dam letter -- being
unable to read English) - be sure you read them their dam Miranda first.
As for me, I am not going to cause more dam flooding or dam debris jams
by interfering with these dam builders. If you want to hurt these
dam beavers - be aware I am sending a copy of your dam letter and this
response to PETA. If your dam Department seriously finds all dams
of this nature inherently hazardous and truly will not permit their existence
in this dam State - I seriously hope you are not selectively enforcing
this dam policy - or once again both I and the Spring Pond Beavers will
In my humble opinion, the Spring Pond Beavers have a right to build
their dam unauthorized dams as long as the sky is blue, the grass is green
and water flows downstream. They have more dam right than I to live
and enjoy Spring Pond. So, as far as I and the beavers are concerned,
this dam case can be referred for more dam elevated enforcement action
now. Why wait until 1/31/98? The Spring Pond Beavers may be
under the dam ice then, and there will be no dam way for you or your dam
staff to contact/harass them then.
In conclusion, I would like to bring to your attention a real environmental
quality (health) problem; bears are actually defecating in our woods.
I definitely believe you should be persecuting the defecating bears and
leave the dam beavers alone. If you are going to investigate
the beaver dam, watch your step! (The bears are not careful where
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
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