Governor orders evacuation of Dakota Access camps

Order says the unpermitted campsites are not zoned for housing suitable for winter conditions

North Dakota Governor Jack Dalrymple is ordering an emergency evacuation of Dakota Access pipeline protesters who are camping on U.S. Army Corps of Engineers land.

The Republican governor signed the order Monday because of what he calls “harsh winter conditions.” The order did not say what action would be taken for protesters who don’t comply, and a spokesman for Dalrymple didn’t immediately respond to calls from The Associated Press.

The governor’s order says the unpermitted campsites are not zoned for housing suitable for living in winter conditions.

Hundreds of people have been gathered at the encampment for months to oppose the four-state, $3.8 billion project, which they contend could affect drinking water and damage cultural sites.

The Corps says all federal lands north of the Cannonball River will be closed for “safety concerns” starting December 5, but the Corps says it has no plans to forcibly remove anyone. Violators could be prosecuted for trespassing.

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