Funny Dam Story

This is an actual letter sent to a man named Ryan DeVries regarding a pond on his
property. It was sent by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Quality, State of Pennsylvania .
This guy’s response is hilarious, but read The State’s letter before you get to the response letter.

The Dam

State of
Pennsylvania ‘s letter to Mr. DeVries:

File No.97-59-0023; T11N; R10W, Sec 20; Lycoming 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 Pennsylvania
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, 2010.

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 and Water Management Division.

Here is the actual response sent back by Mr. DeVries:

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

Dear Mr..Price,

Your certified letter dated 11/17/09 has been handed to me. I am
the legal landowner but not the Contractor at 2088 Dagget Lane
, Trout Run, Pennsylvania .

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.

These are the beavers/contractors you are seeking.
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 Act, Act 451 of
the Public Acts of 1994, being sections 324.30101 to 324.30113
of the Pennsylvania Compiled Laws, annotated.)

I have several dam concerns. My first dam 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 damed 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 1/31/2010? The Spring Pond Beavers may be under
the dam ice by 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 dam 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.



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