Josh Beckett‘s companies Beckett Ventures Inc. and Hall of Fame Land Ventures LP have filed a federal lawsuit in Laredo, Texas against Eagle Ford Midstream LP, a pipeline company. The lawsuit argues that the pipeline builder was awarded rights to land on Beckett’s Texas ranch through eminent domain after they allegedly falsely told the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services that the property was not suitable habitat for the endangered ocelot.
Beckett maintains that he has seen the wild cat on his 7,000 acre ranch which is located near San Antonio, Texas. His lawsuit claims that the ocelot travels along rivers and streams which cross the property, and they have photographic evidence of the cat’s tracks on Beckett’s land. The pipeline company continued the project and cleared 40 acres of thick native vegetation on the ranch property even after Beckett’s company notified Eagle Ford Midstream LP of the ocelot activity. An alternate route for the pipeline was suggested, but even after threat of lawsuit the pipeline project wasn’t altered to accommodate for the rare cat’s habitat preservation. The lawsuit asks a judge to stop any further work on the pipeline project and detail what the natural gas pipeline builder is required to do under the Endangered Species Act.
The pipeline company filed a response on Wednesday which argued that the hunting on Herradura
Ranch was a greater threat to the ocelot than their 102 mile long pipeline. The ranch offers guided hunting trips for deer and assorted wild game including bobcat.
The ocelot, also known as the dwarf leopard, is similar to a domestic cat in appearance. Thousand of ocelots have been hunted for their leopard patterned fur. Although the ocelot is found in South America, Central America, Mexico, and as far east as the Caribbean, it is estimated that only around 50 remain in the U.S. primarily in southern Texas.
Josh Beckett started 7 games for the Dodgers this season after being acquired in the mega deal with Boston. His record in Los Angeles was 2-3 with a 2.93 ERA. He’s signed through 2014 on a four-year $68 million contract.