Protest camps grow slowly in West Texas

Work continues at a pad site north of Alpine, Texas, Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2015. The pad will be used for the construction of Trans-Pecos Pipeline Project. The project plans on transporting natural gas from a collection facility west of Fort Stockton into Mexico, 12 miles upriver from Presidio.

Activists are still trickling in to the camps set up in West Texas to protest oil and gas developments.

Last week, Lori Glover, one of the camp leaders, said the Two Rivers camp, near Big Bend Ranch State Park, had about 15 campers during the week and about 50 over the weekends, including four from North Dakota. The camp is focused on blocking construction of the Trans-Pecos Pipeline being built by Dallas-based Energy Transfer Partners.

Some of the camp gathered on Sunday at one of the pipeline work sites as 16-year old Destiny Wilcuts locked herself to a bulldozer, forcing crews to stop construction for an hour, activists said.

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Wilcuts, a Sicangu Lakota from North Dakota, was ultimately arrested by Presidio County Sheriff Danny Dominguez.

Wilcuts said she’s fighting to protect water quality. Protesters worry a pipeline break or leak would contaminate waterways.

“This fight means that my kids and my nieces and my nephews will have drinking water for their kids when they get older,” Wilcuts said in a statement. “It’s kind of like me reclaiming my history and roots, I have to relearn everything I knew before but forgot.”