Beaver Dams

June 9, 1998

If there was ever an award for environmental lunacy, this should win first prize. Consider the following letter from a Michigan bureaucrat. "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."

The letter goes on to say that "We find that dams of this nature are inherently hazardous and cannot be permitted. 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."

The landowner's response is priceless. He says, "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, nor authorize their dam project, I think they would be highly offended that you call their skillful use of natural building materials ‘debris.'"

He continues, "As to your request the beavers must fill out a permit prior to the start of this type of dam activity, my first question to you is: are you trying to discriminate against my Spring Pond Beavers or do you require all beavers to conform to said request?"

Fortunately the letter did the trick. The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality has closed the case. Thus ends the story of yet another example of environmental silliness.

I'm Kerby Anderson of Probe Ministries, and that's my opinion.

© 1998 Probe Ministries International