The letter I wish I could write

This has been around for a while, but an old friend just sent it to me, and it’s the type of response I wish I was clever enough to write the Lawyer in my previous post.  I just don’t have the dam talent!




The Dam
            This is an actual letter sent to a man named Ryan DeVries 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.

            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

            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

            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 .

            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 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

  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 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 pro ject, 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 activity.

My first dam question to you is:
            (1) Are you trying to discriminate against my Spring Pond
            (2) Or 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, of the Pennsylvania Compiled Laws,

            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 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’

            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.

            THANK YOU.