Protesters demonstrate at BootJack Ranch against Dakota Access Pipeline



Protesters demonstrated today outside the gate to BootJack Ranch located east of Pagosa Springs.

The protest was held in objection to the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) by developer Energy Transfer Partners.

BootJack Ranch is owned by Energy Transfer Partners CEO Kelcy Warren.

Warren purchased the approximately 3,500-acre ranch in 2010 for $46.5 million according to the Wall Street Journal.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers approved the pipeline and granted final permits in July.

The 1,172-mile pipeline will stretch from the oil-rich Bakken Formation from North Dakota through South Dakota, Iowa and Illinois.

The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe sued the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, saying the pipeline “threatens the Tribe’s environmental and economic well-being, and would damage and destroy sites of great historic, religious, and cultural significance to the Tribe.”

According to the complaint, the “DAPL crosses hundreds if not thousands of federally regulated rivers, streams, and wetlands along its route. The discharge of any fill material in such waters is prohibited absent authorization from the Corps. Federal authorization under these statutes, in turn, triggers requirements under the National Historic Preservation Act (‘NHPA’), intended to protect sites of historic and cultural significance to Tribes like Standing Rock. In issuing NWP 12, however, the Corps authorized discharges into federal waters without ensuring compliance with the NHPA. In essence, in enacting NWP 12, the Corps pre-authorized construction of DAPL in all but a handful places requiring federal authorization without any oversight from the Corps. In so doing, the Corps abdicated its statutory responsibility to ensure that such undertakings do not harm historically and culturally significant sites.

“Second, on July 25, 2016, the Corps issued multiple federal authorizations needed to construct the pipeline in certain designated areas along the pipeline route. One such authorization allows DAPL to construct the pipeline underneath Lake Oahe, approximately half a mile upstream of the Tribe’s reservation. Others authorize the DAPL to discharge into waters of the United States at multiple locations in the Tribe’s ancestral lands. The Tribe brings this challenge because these authorizations were made in violation of the CWA and its governing regulations and without compliance with NHPA, and the National Environmental Policy Act (‘NEPA’).”

According to CNN, pipeline developer Energy Transfer Partners said, “The pipeline wouldn’t just be an economic boon, it would also significantly decrease U.S. reliance on foreign oil. The pipeline would also help free up railways to transport ‘crops and other commodities currently constrained by crude oil cargos.’”

Local protesters were joined by people from out of state at the entrance to BootJack Ranch to support the tribe’s efforts to stop development of the pipeline.