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From My Window ... by I.C. Toowell
In Jan. 28 Issue

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 State's letter before you get to the response letter.

 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, 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 08/17/09 has been handed to me to respond to.  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  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 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  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 th  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 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  letter, they  being unable to read  English.

 In my humble opinion, the Spring Pond  Beavers have a right to built  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 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, watch  your step! The bear  are not  careful where they go.

 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.





 This not so bright young lady was asked why she chose such a long password on her computer?  She said she was told that it had to be at least 8 characters long and include at least one capital!  Here's what she came up with


Have a great week.

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