Those "For the good of Arkansas" ads are really starting to cheese me off. A couple of weeks ago, I received a call from a friend, asking if I'd like to have her beautiful Ameraucana (the "Easter Egg Chicken") hens. It seems that Chesapeake set up camp on the lot next door, cut down all the trees, installed a drill, and much more. The constant noise, she said, was too upsetting for her much-loved birds, and she'd made the decision to let them go to a new home rather than continue to see them stressed out on a daily basis. She was in tears over the decision, but couldn't see any other humane option. She kept her more laid-back Orpington and other hens, who didn't seem as bothered by the 24/7 racket next door.
I was totally unprepared for the scene at my friend's home when I went to pick up the five hens. The first thing that hit me like a punch in the face was the NOISE. Dear God, the noise. I couldn't believe that noise like that could even be LEGAL in a residential neighborhood. It was deafening, and non-stop. We couldn't have a normal conversation, but had to shout at each other the entire time.
Moving around to the back yard, you find the defaced acreage next door. There's no escaping it, actually. Apparently, promises were made on the front end...promises of visual screening, noise-baffling, etc. Those promises were not kept. This picture was taken as I stood next to my friend's tidy, adorable chicken coop.
Up until Chesapeake showed up, this entire area was forested. Those few remaining trees mark the edge of the property line. In other words, the only reason those trees are still standing is that they are actually on my friend's property. Oh, and all those trees that were cut down? Were they at least harvested for building, or, heck, even for firewood? Of course not! They were burned on-site. Way to go, Chesapeake.
I just stared in disbelief at all the destruction, the ugliness. I couldn't believe the noise. I couldn't believe that this is even legal to do. Not the drilling, the deforestation, etc., but the depriving innocent people of the quiet enjoyment of their home--isn't that a right we all have? I mean, I live out in the country, BUT, if I started blasting a stereo a full volume non-stop around the clock, wouldn't the sheriff come out and make me STOP, on behalf of my neighbors? Of course he would--and SHOULD.
The owners of the property where the drilling is taking place are being compensated financially, of course. But what of the poor innocents who own, and live on, the adjoining property? They don't have the right to a minute's peace, or any compensation for the loss of food-producing livestock, or just the simple ability to live a NORMAL life for the duration of Chesapeake's involvement in the area? I truly don't get it, and wish someone would explain to me HOW this is, in any way, right...or even legal. I thought there were protections in place in America against things like this. I really did. What a fool I was.
My friend is a nervous wreck from the constant stress of the noise, and has had to deal with prowlers peering in her windows since Chesapeake's (or whoever they subcontracted to) employees took up residence in mobile homes on the job site. I feel terrible for her, and helpless. I want to DO something more than just provide a peaceful home for her birds...but at least I was able to do that. Five lovely hens came home with me that day, and seem to have adjusted nicely at our place, where it is blissfully quiet...at least until a utility company comes to MY neighborhood.
A SAD UPDATE: Since my visit, the living conditions at my friend's home have worsened exponentially. I'm forwarding the details, along with the name of the contact person from Chesapeake who has been backpedaling on his promises to the residents of this area, to Max, in hopes that he'll know what questions to ask and who to ask them of, and at least maybe shine a light on the REALITY of what happens to your life when Chesapeake moves into your neighborhood.
I'm updating just to add these pictures of what the view from the backyard was like BC (Before Chesapeake).