Caddo Commission Considers Allowing Rape Of Monkey Park

Sorry for the hyberbole, but this makes me mad:

Caddo commissioners may let a trail lover’s gem lose what many consider part of its natural shine.

The board is mulling a contract with Haynesville Shale stalwart Chesapeake Energy Corp. to put a natural gas drilling rig in a northwestern finger of Eddie D. Jones Park in southern Caddo.

It’s called the monkey park because it has a chimp haven. More importantly for me and many others, the park is home to one of the area’s best mountain bike trails. Riding out there and listening to the noises, and smelling the smells, of a natural gas rig would not be fun, never mind the damage the location could do to the trail.

From the article, it sounds like almost a done deal, with only one commissioner capable of figuring the external costs (roads torn apart, neighborhood quality of life shot, park seriously damaged) into the equation. I love this quote in particular:

Commissioner John Escude said he and his cohorts knew when they initially approved leases there was a chance a drill site could end up on public property. The leases garnered $17.6 million for the parish last summer but did not give companies permission to operate above-the-ground drilling equipment.

“As far as I’m concerned, we have an obligation to the companies who we leased to,” Escude said.

Err, no you do not. You have an obligation to do ONLY what the contract says you have an obligation to do, and that does not include allowing above ground rigs. It works both ways. If this guy thinks for a second one of these energy companies would ever perform a service they are not contractually bound to perform, he’s nuts.

Still, the article was not entirely clear on the location, so maybe it won’t be so bad. Nor did it mention times. If this thing is not there too long, or maybe if it goes up over the summer when the trail gets less use, it might not be too bad. If the Commission gets some serious cash and promises to use it for park improvements – there could be plenty; that area is underutilized – I could handle the temporary inconvenience. Hopefully the local MTB community will get on this soon and get these questions answered.

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One Comment on “Caddo Commission Considers Allowing Rape Of Monkey Park”


  1. […] The NorLa Blog From Northwest Louisiana, A Blog Of All Subjects But An Expert At None « Caddo Commission Considers Allowing Rape Of Monkey Park […]


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