US Corps of Engineers crew initially denied access to DAPL protest camp

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CANNON BALL, N.D. - Members of the Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) tried to assess the cleanup needs of the main pipeline protest camp on federal land Thursday, but they say after meeting with camp leaders, they were turned away initially.

Protesters were upset while they met with members of the Corps and other state agencies that accompanied them, and protesters grew increasingly frustrated as the meeting progressed.

Miscommunication seems to have played a role in the US Army Corps of Engineers crew being denied access to federal property by protesters.

Members of the Oceti Sakowin protest camp thought they would be negotiating the corps entrance. Representatives of the Corps seem to think that had already happened.

"We know that you guys are doing a good job of cleaning of starting the clean up but we know the weather could change on us and force our hand and start flooding earlier, so we think there's a time frame," Eric Stauss, USACE.

The Corps continues to warn about the life threatening potential of a spring flood.

"We need a date, where you agree, where we can trust your word. Where you will not come and respond in such a fashion and we need to know what the response needs to be," said Chase Iron Eyes, activist.

Protesters believe they can handle the situation themselves.

When the meeting ended around 1 p.m. protesters denied members of the corps access to the camp.

The Morton County Sheriff's office told us that the representatives from the Corps were eventually able to access the camp, which is on federally owned land.