Twenty-five highway patrol and Morton county sheriff vehicles today lined up along a remote stretch of Highway 1806 near Cannonball Ranch.
The police presence was necessary to keep traffic moving in the midst of a mostly peaceful protest against the Dakota Access Pipeline.
Opposition to the pipeline has been building since the Army Corp of Engineers granted permits for construction that could impact water quality on the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation.
Today the conflict reached a new level as arrests were made
Access, that's is what construction workers for the Dakota Access pipeline and protesters struggled for south of Fort Rice.
Native Americans were separated from workers by dozens of law enforcement officers officers and temporary fencing, but some demonstrators ignored police barriers.
“The protesters, I think their biggest concern is they want to make a point and get arrested and cross the lines and actually force us to arrest them cause that's what they're doing,” said Morton County Sheriff Kyle Kirchmeier.
Because, the main entrance to the pipeline construction site was blocked yesterday, workers began building a new entrance to get access to the river.
“My kids' future is at stake, and I'm trying to honor our treaty rights,” said Wiyaka Bayleman, a protester Rosebud N.D.
“We're slowly destroying mother earth. Mother earth is the one that takes care of us,” said Antoine American Horse, Protester, Cannon Ball, N.D.
A substantial law enforcement presence kept this protest from getting out of hand.
"Right now we're just in peace keeping mode. We're not on either side we're just want to make sure that they can do their job and the protesters can do it peacefully.That's the goal," said Kirchmeier.
Protesters claim hundreds more opponents of the pipeline will be arriving soon.
A temporary federal injunction preventing digging the pipeline will be heard in Washington, D.C., Aug. 24. In the meantime this temporary access road will continue be built.
Dakota Access Pipeline released a statement today saying the company is working with local law enforcement on the situation to ensure the safety of their employees and the safety of those who live and work in the area. To that end, Dakota Access will press charges against anyone who interferes in the construction of the pipeline.