Governor Dalrymple issues Emergency Evacuation of Oceti Sakowin camp during harsh winter weather
Executive Order 2016-08 was issued by Dalrymple on November 28
According to the order, it will be deemed “unlawful” to remain at the camp from this point on
Dalrymple is attempting to make decision for Army Corps, something he does not have the jurisdiction to do
As snow beats down on the Oceti Sakowin camp, Governor Dalrymple has ordered an Emergency Evacuation. The order comes to allegedly protect the water protectors staying at the camp from the harsh winter weather they are facing.
Executive Order 2016-08, issued by Dalrymple on November 28, states that “Morton County is currently experiencing severe winter weather storm conditions, and it is anticipated harsh winter conditions will continue until next spring.”
Endangering Human Life
The Executive Order states that the “winter weather conditions have the potential to endanger human life without the proper shelter.”
This directly targets those staying at the Oceti Sakowin camp who are staying in “tents, vehicles, temporary and semi-permanent structures.” The structures that those at the camp are staying in have not been “inspected and approved by Morton County as proper dwellings suitable for winter habitation.”
The area affected by Executive Order 2016-08 is the same area that the Army Corps recently announced would no longer be open to the public as of December 5. While the notice does not state force will be used to remove those staying at the camp, it does state that those who do stay are subject to arrest.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, Jack Dalrymple, Governor of the State of North Dakota, order a mandatory evacuation of all persons located in areas under the proprietary jurisdiction of the United States Army Corps of Engineers located in Morton County, and defined as a prohibited area in Exhibit A of the United States Army Corps of Engineers memorandum provided to the Morton County Sheriff on November 25th, 2016 and attached to this order. This definition of the evacuation area shall remain in effect even if the United States Army Corps of Engineers redefines or removes these prohibited areas. These persons are ordered to leave the evacuation area immediately, and are further ordered not to return to the evacuation area.
Emergency Services will not be available
Dalrymple’s order states that emergency services will most likely not be available in the area. This is not exactly news for those who have been staying at the camp, as emergency services, for the most part, have already been available for some time.
Earlier today, the roads were not cleared near the Oceti Sakowin camp under the guise that plow drivers did not feel safe clearing the road next to the camp.
Dalrymple also claims that since the Executive Order has been issued those staying on the land will being staying unlawfully. Accept Dalrymple is claiming this on Army Corps land, an area where he does not have jurisdiction to do so.
This order is issued pursuant to the following authority and for the following reasons:
The Governor is vested with the executive authority pursuant to Article V, Section 1 of the North Dakota Constitution; and,
The governor is vested with statutory authority to issue executive orders to minimize or avert the effects of a disaster or emergency pursuant to Chapter 37-17.1 of the North Dakota Century Code; and,
The governor is vested by Section 37-17.1-05(6)(e), N.D.C.C. with authority to direct and compel the evacuation of all or part of the population from any stricken or threatened area within the state if the governor deems this action necessary for the preservation of life or other disaster or emergency mitigation, response, or recovery; and
A coordinated and effective effort of all state departments is required to minimize the impact of disasters and emergencies in this state.
The order is marked effective immediately as of November 28, 2016. Whether or not this means Dalrymple will try to send law enforcement in tonight to clear out the camp, tonight is still unclear. Legally he does not have the authority to, but there is nothing legal about the way those standing against the Dakota Access Pipeline have been treated by law enforcement.