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Governor orders evacuation of Dakota Access protest camp

BISMARCK - Gov. Jack Dalrymple has ordered an emergency evacuation of the Dakota Access Pipeline protest camps on U.S. Army Corps of Engineers land, citing safety concerns due to harsh winter weather.

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Oceti Sakowin camp on the north side of the Cannonball River, pictured here on Nov. 25, 2016, has grown to an estimated 5,000 to 7,000 people. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has set a deadline of Dec. 5 for the eviction of the Oceti Sakowin camp for people protesting the Dakota Access pipeline from Corps-owned land. Photo by Kevin Cederstrom / Forum News Service
Kevin Cederstrom / Forum News Service

BISMARCK - Gov. Jack Dalrymple has ordered an emergency evacuation of the Dakota Access Pipeline protest camps on U.S. Army Corps of Engineers land, citing safety concerns due to harsh winter weather.

Dalrymple’s order signed Monday, Nov. 28, states that people camping in the area near the Cannonball River are ordered to leave immediately and take all their possessions with them.

The order comes three days after the Corps told the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe it would be closing the Corps-managed land north of the Cannonball River on Dec. 5.

The governor’s order, which takes effect immediately, applies to Corps lands where the agency has not permitted camping, said governor spokesman Jeff Zent.

However, the state does not have plans to remove people from the site, Zent said.

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“We’re not going to go in and make arrests and forcibly remove everybody that’s on that site,” Zent said. “We fully expect the federal government to take the lead on the management of their property.”

The governor’s office did not coordinate the emergency evacuation order with the Corps, Zent said.

On Sunday, the Corps said it would not forcibly remove people who continue camping north of the Cannonball River after Dec. 5.

Related Topics: DAKOTA ACCESS PIPELINE
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