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Progress made in efforts to clean up DAPL protest camp

(KFYR)
Published: Feb. 20, 2017 at 6:30 PM CST
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It appears to have been a productive weekend for the Dakota Access Pipeline protest camp cleanup.

Observers say they're pleased with how much has been cleaned up, but the clock is ticking.

After a slow start Friday, workers were able to haul out nearly 100 loads of trash and snow, which is good progress towards Wednesday 2 p.m. deadline.

You can see the difference in the Oceti Sakowin protest camp. Less garbage and less people.

"There's no more, there's less, I don't know there's less than 300 people here but this camp's changed a lot," said Alex High Elk.

State contractors began work on cleaning the camp last week and have made significant progress.

Last week this field was covered in trash, tents and snow, but since state contractors have come in you can tell they've made a lot of progress with still a lot more to go.

"Still a significant amount of garbage and a lot of snow and in that snow we don't know, we don't know what's in the snow," said Tom Doering, MC EM.

While some at the camp are heading elsewhere they know others will stay behind.

"Some of them don't want to budge. They want to stay here and they want to defend," said High Elk.

Those who are coordinating the cleanup effort by the state and county insist people need to leave.

"If the people were out of there it would go a lot quicker and then we could concentrate on those areas the closest to the river and those most likely to flood," said Doering.

Clean up will continue with efforts on both sides at least until the deadline passes.

Contractors and Morton County decided not to haul trash out today because of the rainy conditions.

They were concerned the equipment might get stuck in the mud.