PARK RAPIDS, Minn. — Two different incidents with protesters on the Line 3 replacement project this week resulted in a dozen arrests.

Honor the Earth Executive Director Winona LaDuke and six other women were arrested Monday afternoon, July 19, during a protest in front of the pending Enbridge Line 3 replacement near the Shell River in Wadena County.

They were booked into the Wadena County Jail on charges of trespassing on critical public service facilities and refusing to leave upon demand, according to the Wadena County Sheriff's in-custody list. The seven were:

  • Kristen Lynne Razowsky, 46, of Minneapolis
  • Cheryl Lynn Barnds, 52, of Takoma Park, Md.
  • Kelly Reta Maracle, 57, of Gowanda, N.Y.
  • Patricia Jean Weber, 54, of Corvallis, Ore.
  • Mary Katherine Klein, 52, of Penngrove, Calif.
  • Barbara Lee With, 66, of La Pointe, Wis.
  • Winona Helena LaDuke, 61, of Ponsford, Minn.

A news release from Honor the Earth said the women were sitting at the river crossing "in peaceful prayer to oppose the construction of Line 3."

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Honor the Earth Executive Director Winona LaDuke was arrested Monday, July 19, 2021, and booked into Wadena County Jail. (Courtesy Wadena County Sheriff's Office)
Honor the Earth Executive Director Winona LaDuke was arrested Monday, July 19, 2021, and booked into Wadena County Jail. (Courtesy Wadena County Sheriff's Office)

On Tuesday, July 20, the Wadena County Sheriff’s Office was again notified of several individuals trespassing near the drilling operation on the Shell River site. This site was also occupied by Enbridge contractors as part of the Line 3 replacement project. Five individuals breached the fence surrounding the operation, according to the sheriff's office release.

The five arrested Tuesday were:

  • Andrea Sprague Boit, 31, of Grants Pass, Ore.
  • Seth Levin Noscanchuk, 23, of Minneapolis
  • Nathan Walker Joseph, 32, of Murphy, Ore.
  • Jackson Sven Froiland, 26, of Menahga, Minn.
  • Monserrat Sylvie Gerardo, 26, of New York

Charges include theft, trespass and unlawful assembly, among others.

Protesters brought concerns over the water extraction occurring along the construction project at a time where the region has entered a severe drought stage and river levels have dropped to minimal flows in areas of northern Minnesota.

Last week, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources suspended the use of some water sources due to low water flow in specific watersheds. Enbridge prepared for water restrictions to come into effect and adjusted their work plans to protect and conserve water, according to Juli Kellner, a communications specialist with Enbridge.

“The current drought conditions in Minnesota are concerning to everyone. Our project permits include conditions that protect the environment during construction and specifically wild rice waters,” said Barry Simonson, director of Mainline Construction for Line 3. “We are focused on protecting and conserving water, and continue to work with agencies on next steps.” Simonson added, “It’s worth noting that our pipelines have coexisted with some of the country’s most productive wild rice waters for seven decades.”

The 12 arrested are being held at the Wadena County Jail, pending formal charges from the Wadena County Attorney’s Office, according to the release.

The Line 3 replacement project is already over 70% complete in Minnesota. This includes horizontal directional drilling (HDD) at over a dozen sites. During pipeline construction, where the water table is high, sometimes Enbridge will temporarily remove standing water from an open trench to ensure worker safety. Water is pumped out of the trench, filtered, collected nearby and then gradually released back to the ground, per strict environmental permits and regulations.

Replacement work is complete in Canada, North Dakota and Wisconsin. The project is on track to be complete and in service by the fourth quarter of 2021.