|The True Beaver Story:
SUBJECT: DEQ 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,
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, 2006.
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
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
Reply from Land Owner:
Re: DEQ File No. 97-59-0023; T11N; R10W, Sec. 20;
Dear Mr. Price,
Your certified letter dated 12/17/05 has been handed to me to respond to.
I am the legal landowner but not the Contractor at 2088 Dagget Lane, Trout
A couple of beavers are in the state unauthorized and in the process of
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
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 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
1/31/2006? 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 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.
RYAN DEVRIES & THE DAM BEAVERS
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