My dad is really into Castor canadensis right now.
Subject: Beaver (Castor canadensis) Lore
Recipents: myself, my brother
Content (edited for a modicum of brevity):
A number of items relating to beavers recently crossed my path. Since I'm taking a break from painting I thought that I would impose them on you.
1) Recently while walking along the Millstone river a beaver was kind enough to swim around in front of me for about 10 minutes. Not sure if he was fishing or just having fun - lots of splashing. Didn't have my camera. They have chopped down 10 trees along this section of the river. Mom is convinced that they will dam the river and the water will back up and flood our basement.
2) The next day I found this little critter's skull along the river.
3) One of our contacts in upstate Pa (Damascus) sent this item re: beaver dams. This is an actual letter sent to a man regarding a pond on his property. It was sent by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Quality.
SUBJECT: DEQ File No.97-59-0023; T11N; R10W, Sec 20; Lycoming County
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.
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.
Re: DEQ File No. 97-59-0023; T11N; R10W, Sec. 20; Lycoming County
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. 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. I have several dam concerns. My first dam 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.
If you want the dammed 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 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 believe you should be persecuting the defecating bears and leave the beavers alone. If you are going to investigate the beaver dam, watch your dam step! The bears are not careful where they dump!
Well - back to painting.