Berry Security..or…Open Season on landowners? You decide!

Posted: May 12, 2013 in Uncategorized

Berry Security..or...Open Season on landowners? You decide!

Berry Petroleum recently cut a landowners fence and installed a cattleguard on an access from Highway 158 to private property in Gardendale to exploit the minerals under the land. Easily traverseable by vehicle the wide open entry was not posted nor any arrangement made (that we could see) for security at the entrance. The landowner spotted a ‘mule’ (4 wheeled vehicle) riding around on his property. With the help a neighbor they chased and stopped the tresspassers at the cattleguard. The young men explained they believed it was ok to come on to property to look at the drilling pad (the drilling pad near the cattleguard courtesy of Pradon Construction) and nearby rig and did not see any signs at the entrance. They apologized to the landowner, were courteous and expressed remorse for the trouble and anxiety they had caused. What Berry may consider ‘adequate’ in terms of security can be questioned. Do they not have an obligation to protect the land they are using to expoit their minerals? When the landowner lives a short distance away on the property do they not know how much anxiety it causes the landowner and his family to realize they are vulnerable to anyone driving across a cattle guard? Would the executives of Berry Petroleum want their families to live with the uncertainty that this landowner is forced to live with? The laws in Texas allow a person to reasonably protect his land. We are glad that this ended peacefully without any violence as restraint was shown by all parties involved…because a young child was present with the men trespassing. One of the trespassers, when he understood what had happened, commented the outcome may have been negatively different if he had experienced the same violation on his own land. We call on the Berry monitors reading this web site to fix this serious security issue!

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