Corps of Engineers Permit Doesn’t Allow SRST To Camp North of Cannonball River

In a recent release from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers – Omaha District, the Corps declined to grant a Special Use Permit to allow the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe to camp north of the Cannonball River

The tribe recently applied for a Special Use Permit from the Corps for lands north and south of the mouth of the Cannonball river, but because land north of the river is subject to an existing grazing lease, that portion of the application will not be acted upon. Sioux County, south of federal lands on the Cannonball river where protesters are currently encamped is part of the Standing Roux Sioux Reservation.

The proposed route of the Dakota Access Pipeline does not cross the Cannonball River and will parallel an existing energy corridor across the Missouri River alongside an electrical transmission line and the Northern Border Pipeline.


A Special Use Permit allows the Tribe to use Corps lands under Title 36 of the Code of Federal Regulations Part 327, Title 33 of the United States Code, Section 408. Several activities on the permitted land require written permission from the Omaha District Commander.

The tribe has not received the necessary additional permission required for activities identified in Title 36 such as construction, either temporary or permanent, of any structures within areas identified in the Special Use Permit. Therefore the protesters are not allowed within the confines of the permit to erect winter-time shelters within the camp, which is not allowed on federal land according to the permit.

In order to adequately follow the provisions of the permit, the tribe must work with the protesters to ensure that the land is restored to its previous state, as well as maintain responsibility for maintenance, damage, and restoration costs. That includes the removal of all waste, structures, as well as the restoration of native grasslands that have been trampled since April as the camp population has swelled to nearly 4,000 people.