Tuesday, November 29, 2016

With tension mounting farmers, ranchers feeling effects of pipeline protests

Whether it's been the numerous law enforcement officers sweeping protestors out of an area, equipment and bridges set ablaze, or the tension-filled altercations between activists and law enforcement, the untold story has been the effect of the protests on all the local farmers and ranchers who are attempting to continue operating under the fragile circumstances of the Dakota Access pipeline protests.Doug Goehring, North Dakota Agriculture Commissioner, said he is not only concerned, but saddened for what all the farmers and ranchers have had to endure during recent months."I've been aware from the onset of the things that have been taking place, mostly because I know the people," he said. "I went to the sheriff's department and asked them to verify some of these things and if they knew about them. Not only were they aware of some of the instances, but they had pages more of reported incidents."Farmers and ranchers have had their fences cut and hay stolen. Trespassing issues are constant. Some of their livestock has been slaughtered, and/or mutilated, or gone missing. Producers have been stopped on the road by masked activists and roads have been blocked. Drivers with no license plates or out of state license plates have played "chicken" on the road with rural residents, according to some reports. Law enforcement has had to escort school buses, schools have been locked down, and farmers and ranchers have barricaded themselves in their homes, Goehring noted."I have a farmer and rancher who operates a trucking business on the side who hasnÕt left his place, as of a week ago, for seven weeks," said Goehring. "He fears his property will be vandalized, his things destroyed. These are law abiding, good citizens. They've done nothing to no one, and they're being victimized, exploited, abused, and intimidated."...more

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