Dam Beavers

Frozen dam

This is  an actual letter sent to a man named 

Ryan DeVries regarding a 

pond on his property

It was sent by the 


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.  


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, 2008.  

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 11/25/07 

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 


their dam work ethic.  


  These are the
beavers/contractors you are seeking. 

Beaver swimming

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 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 them dam names.

If you want the stream  


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  


and the environment 

(Beavers' Dams).

So, as far as the 

beavers and I are concerned, 


dam case 

can be referred for more 

elevated enforcement action 

right now. 

Why wait until 1/31/2008? 

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.




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