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Josh Beckett: friend to the ocelot

Oct 18, 2012, 3:30 PM EDT


You can take away Josh Beckett‘s beer and chicken. But don’t you touch his 7,000 acre hunting ranch. Or the ocelots that may or may not live there:

How did a pro baseball pitcher (Josh Beckett of the L.A. Dodgers), ocelots and a natural gas pipeline builder make it into the same news headline? They’re all part of a lawsuit filed by Beckett after the company used eminent domain to clear land on his 7,000-acre hunting ranch in south Texas.

Beckett says the gas pipeline takes too much of his land and threatens ocelot habitat that is protected by the Endangered Species Act. The gas pipeline builder says Beckett is really just trying to extract more money for the use of the land and is using the Endangered Species Act as leverage.

Obviously a story like this isn’t going to have all the details in it to know the truth. I will say, though, that based on my past life as a litigator who sometimes dealt with oil and gas pipeline matters, it is really common for landowners to cynically use the Endangered Species Act to hold up projects and/or get more money for oil and gas rights and/or rights of way.

Of course it’s entirely possible that Beckett truly does care about the ocelots. Just look at his tufted ears!

  1. bloodysock - Oct 18, 2012 at 3:35 PM

    Beckett and the ocelots have something in common as a decent pitching performance from him in Boston was a rare and engangered sighting.

  2. chill1184 - Oct 18, 2012 at 3:35 PM

    The Pipeline builder used the jackboots of the state to steal Beckett’s land. I hope Beckett cleans his clock

  3. shaggytoodle - Oct 18, 2012 at 3:36 PM

    If the gas line is put in, the ocelots would be in the Danger Zone!

    • weaselpuppy - Oct 18, 2012 at 3:56 PM

      I can just see Beckett in a black turtleneck….yuuuup.

      • Old Gator - Oct 18, 2012 at 5:14 PM

        I can just see his wife in an ocelot coat.

    • southofheaven81 - Oct 18, 2012 at 8:12 PM

      NOT ironic?! If O. Henry & Alanis Morisette had a baby it would be named…this exact situation!!!

  4. mookie311 - Oct 18, 2012 at 3:36 PM

    this post wins the whole day because of the archer screencap.

  5. rollinghighwayblues - Oct 18, 2012 at 3:39 PM

    “The gas pipeline builder says Beckett is really just trying to extract more money for the use of the land”


    “Quail (Blues & Bobwhites): $1950 per hunter with a 3 person minimum (3 day hunt)
    Price includes Dogs, Trucks, Guides, and Birds”

    Looks like he’s extracting plenty of money already.

  6. mreezybreezy - Oct 18, 2012 at 3:43 PM

    Well I don’t know diddly about the law, ocelots, endangered animal legislation, or pretty much anything dealing with this article, but according the Wiki, the protection status of ocelots are of “least concern”

    • dowhatifeellike - Oct 18, 2012 at 3:49 PM

      The Ocelot is doing well in South America, but in Texas there is an isolated population that is estimated to have only about 100 animals left. It’s the only population left in the United States.

      If the state of Texas gives something protected status, they mean it. Almost any animal is fair game down there.

  7. lazlosother - Oct 18, 2012 at 3:48 PM

    Well, it’s certainly common for oil and gas rights companies to ignore the ESA and any other environmental consequence if they can possibly do so. I work in eminent domain myself, and I’m with the property owners on this one.

    • dowhatifeellike - Oct 18, 2012 at 3:58 PM

      If Beckett hadn’t protested, who would bear the responsibility for the ESA violation? Beckett? The builder? The operator? The gov’t agency that OK’d it?

      • lazlosother - Oct 18, 2012 at 4:21 PM

        Beckett is attempting to stop construction, so he filed against the pipeline company. If the Sierra club, or a similar conservation group were to challenge the project, they would name the pipeline company and the US Fish and Wildlife Service, who determined there would be “no effect” on the Ocelot. Were I Beckett, I would have named USFWS along with the coompany.

        The ESA centers on habitat – there has to be a certain % of an animal’s particular habitat present. If that % isn’t present, there is no issue. From what I’ve read, the habitat coverage for ocelots on Becktt’s ranch didn’t meet the requirements. If he can demonstrate that the ocelot is there even so then the issue will have to be revisited, and construction will be put on hold while this happens.

  8. indaburg - Oct 18, 2012 at 3:55 PM

    I’ll give Beckett the benefit of the doubt. That is one cute kitty.

  9. tfbuckfutter - Oct 18, 2012 at 3:55 PM

    Is that Baboo!?….LANA! HE REMEMBERS ME!

  10. El Bravo - Oct 18, 2012 at 4:14 PM

    I had no idea ocelots were in North America. I thought they were jungle creatures (i.e. South America). Neat. Also, great Archer pic.

  11. jameswestphal - Oct 18, 2012 at 4:16 PM

    It’s totally a move by Beckett to squeeze some more $$$ out. I’m working on a similar suit in PA, but with Saw Whet Owls. That’s just how it goes.

    • quintjs - Oct 19, 2012 at 2:14 AM

      Say what you want about Beckett, and I could say plenty, but the guy has never hit free agency because he has always signed extensions below market – he clearly isn’t motivated solely by money. I have to agree with indaburg – i think he deserves the benefit of the doubt.

  12. lessthanittakes - Oct 18, 2012 at 4:20 PM

    Screw that piss-reeking ocelot. GO BIG NATURAL GAS.

    • schlom - Oct 18, 2012 at 5:32 PM

      And the stupid animals don’t understand sarcasm.

  13. sdelmonte - Oct 18, 2012 at 4:38 PM

    So of the ocelot
    There’s not an awful lot.

    • dowhatifeellike - Oct 18, 2012 at 6:08 PM

      I have been accused of making some pretty bad dad puns before, but this one is so bad that it caused physical and emotional pain.

      • sdelmonte - Oct 19, 2012 at 1:38 PM

        Um, thanks?

        Was just channeling Ogden Nash.

      • gloccamorra - Oct 20, 2012 at 12:15 PM

        That sounds like a lawsuit to me.

  14. gabeguterres - Oct 18, 2012 at 4:58 PM

    They called you exotic, which is just people talk for “awesome,” which is what you are!

    • imbetterthanyou - Oct 18, 2012 at 5:31 PM

      Josh Beckett…He’s crepuscular!

  15. schlom - Oct 18, 2012 at 5:30 PM

    Screw the tufted eared a**hole! The ocelot, not Josh Beckett.

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