The construction of the $3.8 billion Dakota Access Pipeline has gone anything but smoothly. Though the project was approved this summer by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, it has been plagued with protestors due to a portion that will run beneath a river near North Dakota’s Standing Rock Sioux Reservation.
In fact, NPR reports that more than a thousand protesters have shown up so far, which has led to a couple of high-profile arrests, including a documentary filmmaker and actress Shailene Woodley.
Now, area farmers and ranchers say the unrest has left them more than a little uneasy. Some, like North Dakota farmer Jared Ernst, say they’ve been carrying an extra piece of equipment with them to their fields.
“I’ve been carrying a sidearm with me everywhere I go,” he says. “I have a small revolver that I carry. My wife has started carrying, a bunch of the neighbors have started carrying firearms in their vehicles … you just don’t know.”
Ernst began carrying the revolver after he had a run-in with protesters trespassing in one of his alfalfa fields, he says.
AgDay has more on the story; watch the video.