The North Dakota Attorney General says Dakota Access’s land purchase violates the state’s corporate farming law, according to a July 3 Bismarck Tribune article.
The company purchased much of the Cannonball Ranch north of the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation in fall of 2016, when pipeline protests were ongoing in the area.
State law prohibits corporations and limited liability companies from owning or leasing farmland and ranchland unless the land is necessary for commercial development.
According to the Lakota People’s Law Project, this could have a significant impact on criminal charges leveled against water protectors arrested on this property. Since Dakota Access LLC didn’t legally own the land, it didn’t have the right to tell the authorities to evict water protectors.