Next test for pipeline protesters: the North Dakota winter
CANNON BALL, N.D. - So far, the hundreds of protesters fighting the Dakota Access pipeline have shrugged off the heavy snow, icy winds and frigid temperatures that have swirled around their large encampment on the North Dakota grasslands.
But if they defy next week's government deadline to abandon the camp, demonstrators know the real deep freeze lies ahead, when the full weight of the Great Plains winter descends on their community of nylon tents and teepees. Life-threatening wind chills and towering snow drifts could mean the greatest challenge is simple survival.
"I'm scared. I'm a California girl, you know?" said Loretta Reddog of Placerville, California, a protester who said she arrived several months ago with her two dogs and has yet to adjust to the harsher climate.