Sandpiper pipeline protest -Brainerd Dispatch, Brainerd, MN
Environmental activists on horseback passed through the Brainerd lakes area this week with the mission to raise awareness of what they say are the dangers associated with Enbridge's proposed Sandpiper oil pipeline. On Monday, more than a dozen riders began their journey in East Lake, near the Rice Lake National Wildlife Management Area in Aitkin County. They are riding as closely as possible to the company's preferred pipeline route before eventually ending up at the Rice Lake Community Center on the White Earth Reservation after two weeks, where a celebratory powwow will be held. Organized by Native-led environmental organization Honor the Earth, the "Ride for Mother Earth" is accompanied by the "Love Water Not Oil" tour, featuring educational events on the pipeline led by the organization's founder, Winona LaDuke, and musical performances. LaDuke spoke at the Northland Arboretum in Brainerd Tuesday night after riding throughout the day and again at Pine River-Backus Schools on Wednesday. "I like the quality of life we have here. I like my lakes," she told the crowd of more than 50 people at the Arboretum. "I don't want to see somebody mess it up. That's pretty much why I'm here."