The Associated Press reported that the Army Corps of Engineers has finished cleaning up three Dakota Access pipeline protest camps that were on federal land in North Dakota.
The Corps hired a Florida-based contractor after the main camp and two others were cleared out and shut down late last month in advance of the spring flooding season.
Corps Capt. Ryan Hignight says a total of 835 industrial-size trash bins were filled and removed in the operation that wrapped up late last week. That doesn’t include materials such as lumber and propane tanks that were set aside for reuse or recycling.
The total cost of the operation hasn’t been tallied yet, but the Corps has estimated that it could cost taxpayers more than $1.1 million.
Throughout the cleanup process, nearly a dozen dogs have been rescued from the site and taken to shelters in the Bismarck area.
Law enforcement has also begun scaling back, fewer than 70 officers from Morton County and the ND Highway Patrol are typically stationed in the area. Parts of the sizable law enforcement “forward operating base” are also being dismantled which costs about $210,000 weekly to run.
With efforts to cleanup and dismantle the camps concluding, we can only hope that peace and stability will return permanently to southern North Dakota.