North Dakota Governor Jack Dalrymple signed an emergency evacuation order Monday to evacuate the Dakota Access Pipeline protest camp on Army Corps land.
The emergency order addresses safety concerns and potential danger to human life for those camping on federal land without proper shelter during harsh winter conditions. Dalrymple shares the Army Corps' concerns that severe weather conditions would impede access by emergency medical responders and other emergency services.
The order says the unpermitted camp sites are not zoned for dwellings suitable for living in winter conditions and do not provide proper sanitation infrastructure to sustain a hygienic living environment.
The entire executive order is attached to this article.
Standing Rock Sioux Tribal Chairman Dave Archambault released the following statement after the governor's executive order:
"Today, Gov. Dalrymple issued an executive order calling for mandatory evacuation of all campers located on U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) lands, also known as the Oceti Sakowin camp. This state executive order is a menacing action meant to cause fear, and is a blatant attempt by the state and local officials to usurp and circumvent federal authority. The USACE has clearly stated that it does not intend to forcibly remove campers from federal property. The Governor cites harsh weather conditions and the threat to human life. As I have stated previously, the most dangerous thing we can do is force well-situated campers from their shelters and into the cold. If the true concern is for public safety than the Governor should clear the blockade and the county law enforcement should cease all use of flash grenades, high-pressure water cannons in freezing temperatures, dog kennels for temporary human jails, and any harmful weaponry against human beings. This is a clear stretch of state emergency management authority and a further attempt to abuse and humiliate the water protectors. The State has since clarified that they won't be deploying law enforcement to forcibly remove campers, but we are wary that this executive order will enable further human rights violations."
The chairman called on the Army Corps to affirm their previous statement regarding no forcible removal.