BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — Authorities say they won’t immediately remove the Dakota Access oil pipeline protesters who set up a camp on private land along the pipeline route in North Dakota.
Morton County Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Donnell Preskey says authorities “don’t have the manpower” currently to remove the more than 100 protesters who are trespassing.
The protesters said in a statement Sunday night that the land is theirs, according to an 1851 treaty. The camp of tents and teepees is in an area near where the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe says it has found several sites of “significant cultural and historic value” and where protesters and private security clashed in September. It’s near a larger camp that’s been in place for months.
The company building the pipeline, Texas-based Energy Transfer Partners, bought the land last month for an undisclosed price.