SACUL, TX (KTRE) - Nacogdoches County Sheriff's deputies are unsure about what they can do to get two women safely down from the trees they secured themselves to early Wednesday as part of an ongoing series of protests of the Gulf Coast Project, a part of the TransCanada Keystone pipeline system.
As part of the protest, two women climbed up into pine trees on either side of State Highway 204 near Sacul, and secured themselves to wooden platforms. In addition, protesters ran lines from three pieces of land-clearing equipment up the trees to the two women, so that cutting the trees down or unhooking the equipment could put the women's lives at risk.
NCSO deputies asked the other protesters at the site to leave. The protesters had been on the road with signs since about 8:30 a.m. NCSO deputies are currently talking to the county attorney in regard to how they can get the female protesters down from the trees safely.
Around 5:30 this evening, deputies returned to the protesting area. The tree sitters are on private property and the owner of the land signed an affidavit to remove the protesters from his property. An officer will be raised on the lift to safely remove the women in each tree if the cooperate. At this time no one has been arrested or removed from their wooden platform.
The proposed pipeline will extend pipeline capacity 485 miles from Cushing, Okla. To Nederland, and construction is expected to get underway in Angelina County in about a week to 10 days, according to a contractor for TransCanada that spoke to the Lufkin Host Lions Club during its weekly meeting at the Crown Colony Country Club.
Jim Prescott told Lions Club members that the proposed pipeline will traverse Angelina County from the northwest and west of Lufkin. It will then parallel the western county line and then follow U.S. Highway 59 into Polk County.
Earlier this month, actress Daryl Hannah and a 78-year-old great-grandmother were arrested for trespassing on land in Wood County that had been condemned for use as easement for the proposed pipeline. In late August, two women and five men were arrested in Polk County for trespassing on private property to protest the Keystone pipeline.