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You may have seen this already - I think I did a long while back - but it's so
darned funny, it is worth rereading:

Read the whole thing! This is supposedly 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


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

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 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.
 David L. Price
 District Representative
 Land and Water   Management Division

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

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

 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 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

 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
12/31/2003? 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

 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

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