Date: October 21, 2016
Agency: Morton County Sheriff's Department
Contact: Morton County PIO (701) 426-1587 or (701) 595-3596
Mandan, N.D. - The Morton County Sheriff's Department along with Dakota Access Pipeline, LLC coordinated a walk-through of a portion of the pipeline construction site. About 30 individuals participated in the site visit located in Morton County between Highway 6 and Highway 1806. The purpose of site visit was to bring state, local, federal and interested parties together to walk the pipeline right-of-way to evaluate the specific locations previously identified by former tribal historic preservation officer, Tim Mentz, Sr.
Among those who participated in the site visit were: U.S. Corps of Engineers Omaha District Commander, Col. John Henderson; Standing Rock Sioux Tribal Chairman, David Archambault III; Standing Rock Sioux Tribe Historic Preservation Officer, John Eagle; Chief State Archeologist Paul Picha; along with members of the environmental team from Dakota Access Pipeline. Congressman Kevin Cramer and representatives from Senator John Hoeven’s and Senator Heidi Heitkamp’s offices were also present.
“Morton County has been making an effort to bring representatives from the tribe, DAPL and the state historical society together for weeks. This is very positive to see that all interested parties could together look at the sites in which they have had differing opinions of the historical significance. While there still may be differences, the conversation was positive and allows all parties to better understand each other,” said Morton County Sheriff Kyle Kirchmeier.
"We thank local and state law enforcement for helping to facilitate Thursday’s very successful site visit with the participating representatives of the tribes, the state and federal agencies and other legislative members of their staffs," said Joey Mahmound, executive vice president, Dakota Access Pipeline, LLC. "We are pleased with the results and we hope that this concludes the analysis being conducted by the Departments of Justice, Interior and Army and leads to the prompt issuance of the easement on federal lands adjacent to Lake Oahe.”
In a release issued by Congressman Kevin Cramer, he said the following about his experience on the tour: “I found Thursday’s construction site examination an invaluable relationship-building experience that helped us better understand North Dakota’s cultural landscape. I believe those of us on all sides of the Dakota Access Pipeline issue benefitted from walking together and sharing our expertise, experiences and expectations. I hope this can help us establish a better understanding going forward. And, I am certain that after today the Corps of Engineers will feel confident it has the adequate affirmation to issue the final easement to complete the pipeline construction across the Missouri River at Lake Oahe.”