In the Washington Times today Valerie Richardson writes about a couple who ranches buffalo on the Standing Rock reservation – one an enrolled member of the tribe – who are utterly fed up with the protests against the Dakota Access Pipeline.
“An enrolled tribal member, Mrs. Fischer and her husband, Ernie, are convinced that at least 13 of their bison have been butchered, barbecued and eaten by some of the hundreds of activists trespassing through the livestock pastures of Cannonball Ranch since the protests erupted in August,” Richardson writes. “In one day, the Fischers had three buffalo drop dead after hundreds of protesters on Highway 1806 panicked the herd in a clash with Morton County law enforcement.”
According to the Fischers, there is growing unease in the Standing Rock community over the presence of the protesters:
The Fischers, who live on the Standing Rock Sioux reservation in Selfridge, North Dakota, also illustrate the growing unease within the tribe over the activists who have increasingly shrugged off the chairman’s call for peaceful and prayerful opposition to the project.
“There are a lot of local people being vocal now that don’t want these protesters around,” Mrs. Fischer said. …
For ranchers like the Fischers, catching those responsible for harming their livestock is almost impossible. They live about 43 miles from the Cannonball Ranch, where their herd of more than 600 bison graze over a vast expanse of 8,700 leased acres.
“Some days, we would get three phone calls a day: ‘You’d better get up here; your buffalo are being chased,’” said Mrs. Fischer. “They keep riding up from the south of the ranch into the pastures where the buffalo are supposed to be grazing. So our animals are being stressed from being chased.”
Even those activists who mean no harm are causing stress for the bison, not to mention the Fischers.
“You’ve got people trying to walk up to them in the pastures because these people are so peaceful and pacifistic, they think the buffalo aren’t going to charge them,” said Mrs. Fischer. “We’re just damn lucky no one’s been killed yet.”
“One day I was fixing the fence, and I looked behind me, and they’re cutting the fence just as fast as I’m fixing it along the highway,” Mr. Fischer tells Richardson of one particularly frustrating incident. “I said, ‘Hey guys, what’s the deal,’ and pretty soon there’s 75 people on the other side of the fence, and they’re yelling at you, that you’re a greedy oil person, you stole their land, and everyone’s screaming at you.”
“You’ve got 500, 600 people out there. We want to go in the pasture gate, and they just line it four, five thick across the whole pasture,” he continues. “The minute they see the cops, then they’ll move. They’re doing all this protesting, but 20 of them will be sitting there praying and 500 of them will be raising hell.”
Sadly this is all too typical of the #NoDAPL movement which has shown little respect or empathy for anyone outside of their myopic, extremist environmental cause.