MORTON COUNTY, ND, The Morton County Sheriff's Department and North Dakota Highway Patrol have shut down Highway 1806 indefinitely after protesters set up their own roadblock south of Fort Rice over the weekend.
Highway 1806 is closed between the new law enforcement check point at Fort Rice and the intersection of Highway 24 and 1806 in the south.
Law enforcement convinced protesters to remove their road block peacefully, but they are worried it could reappear at any moment, and materials remain on the side of the road.
Highway patrol Captain Bryan Niewind says Sunday protesters set up a new camp on private property which they claimed by eminent domain and set up a road block of their own.
“Officers were able to engage the individuals that were creating this roadblock. We visited with them and eventually they removed those items from the roadway, but the ditches are still full of all those items that could easily be moved back into the roadway and blocked,” said Niewind.
Protesters say they have claimed eminent domain over the new land, claiming that is the site of sacred burial grounds.
"We are declaring that the United States government and Morton County and all these officers are in violation of treaty rights," says Joye Braun, protester.
At a press conference Monday, law enforcement officials would not say if they have plans to remove the protesters from the new camp, but say they are working through back channels to communicate with protest leaders.
Highway 1806 remains closed between the new policed check point at Fort Rice and at the intersection of highway 24 and 1806.
Sunday's incident follows protest action on Saturday where law enforcement arrested more than 100 protesters.