ND senators tell pipeline protesters to vacate camp

ND senators tell pipeline protesters to vacate camp

North Dakota Sens. John HoevenJohn Henry HoevenSenate GOP urges Trump administration to work closely with Congress on NAFTA GOP lawmakers want Trump to stop bashing Congress Chao names participants selected for drone pilot program MORE (R) and Heidi HeitkampMary (Heidi) Kathryn HeitkampTrump urges anti-abortion advocates to rally in November House votes to ease regulation of banks, sending bill to Trump Overnight Defense: Senate confirms Haspel as CIA chief | Trump offers Kim 'protections' if he gives up nukes | Dem amendments target Trump military parade MORE (D) are calling on protesters to leave federal lands where they have been encamped to demonstrate against the Dakota Access Pipeline.

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"The well-being and property of ranchers, farmers and everyone else living in the region should not be threatened by protesters who are willing to commit acts of violence," Hoeven said in a statement on Friday, according to the Associated Press.

Heitkamp struck a more conciliatory tone, but similarly blamed protesters for an “escalation of violence.”

“Safety must remain the top priority for everyone, and to help make that possible, it’s critical protestors peacefully and lawfully move off of the Corps land north of the Cannonball River and to the identified federal and tribal lands,” Heitkamp said in her own statement. 

“There has been an escalation of violence among some of the protestors that puts their lives, as well as the lives of law enforcement, residents, and land owners in jeopardy."

The Army Corps of Engineers on Friday told the leader of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe that the federal lands that protesters are camped on will be closed over safety concerns posed by winter weather.