Fant denne historien som noen la ut om en utveksling mellom offentlige myndigheter og dem self i USA 1997 historien er sann.
The DEQ later claimed they were fully aware the “debris dams” were beaver dams; the issue, they said, was that the beavers who built them had long since abandoned the dams, but Mr. Tvedten had been continuing to maintain and even build up the dams himself:
The letter concerned an enforcement action directed to a tenant on property surrounding Spring Pond, which is located in Pierson Township, Montcalm County, Michigan. The tenant was observed by the downstream complainant, and has since admitted to the complainant, that he artificially built up, and maintained two abandoned beaver dams on the discharge end of the natural pond. Such an activity falls under the jurisdiction of Part 301, Inland Lakes and Streams, of the Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Act, 1194 PA 451, as amended. It is the Department’s position that in the absence of any threat to public welfare, beaver dams should be left in their natural state, that being either actively maintained or abandoned by beaver.
The Department conducted an on-site inspection of the dams in August of 1997, accompanied by a Department of Natural Resources fisheries biologist, the Pierson Township Supervisor and the complainant. The tenant’s actions, and a threat to the welfare of the downstream complainant prompted our correspondence of December 1997, instructing the tenant to cease and desist all illegal activity and to restore the stream to its prior condition. The owner of the property took issue with our action, and responded with his own version of the situation. It was this correspondence that has been circulating in the internet.
Grand Rapids District Supervisor
Land and Water Management Division
For his part, Mr. Tvedten claimed that the dams had been “abandoned” because a neighbor had killed the beavers (then filed a complaint with the state because he was concerned that the untended dams would break apart and enter his property) and that no one but the beavers had ever maintained them. And contemporaneous accounts of the brouhaha quoted a Michigan DEQ spokesman as saying the agency hadn’t performed an inspection before firing off their December 1997 letter to Mr. Tvedten:
Ken Silfven, public information officer at the state Department of Environmental Quality, said that … the account was correct. He hastened to note, however, that the case was prompted by a complaint from a neighbor who was concerned about flooding caused by the dams.
The department dropped its investigation after an inspection by a DEQ employee.
“It probably would have been a good idea to do the inspection before we sent the notice,” Silfven said.
After some wrangling the agency ultimately dropped the issue, but not before Stephen Tvedten found an inventive way of quickly pointing out both how ludicrous and humorous the situation was. In a way dusty legal language never could, such a letter serves to drive home the silliness of Michigan DEQ’s intractable posturing. The beavers are likely still ignorant of how close they came to being fined $10,000 a day for dam living expenses.