North Dakota

The Latest: Last protesters say they're committed to staying

  • A fire set by protesters burns in the background as opponents of the Dakota Access pipeline leave their main protest camp Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2017, near Cannon Ball, N.D. Most of the pipeline opponents abandoned their protest camp Wednesday ahead of a government deadline to get off the federal land, and authorities moved to arrest some who defied the order in a final show of dissent. (Tom Stromme/The Bismarck Tribune via AP)

    A fire set by protesters burns in the background as opponents of the Dakota Access pipeline leave their main protest camp Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2017, near Cannon Ball, N.D. Most of the pipeline opponents abandoned their protest camp Wednesday ahead of a government deadline to get off the federal land, and authorities moved to arrest some who defied the order in a final show of dissent. (Tom Stromme/The Bismarck Tribune via AP)  (The Associated Press)

  • Tribune Tori Ramos, left, and Riley Cogburn, both of Albany, N.Y., leave as opponents of the Dakota Access pipeline leave their main protest camp Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2017, near Cannon Ball, N.D. Most of the pipeline opponents abandoned their protest camp Wednesday ahead of a government deadline to get off the federal land, and authorities moved to arrest some who defied the order in a final show of dissent. (Tom Stromme/The Bismarck Tribune via AP)

    Tribune Tori Ramos, left, and Riley Cogburn, both of Albany, N.Y., leave as opponents of the Dakota Access pipeline leave their main protest camp Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2017, near Cannon Ball, N.D. Most of the pipeline opponents abandoned their protest camp Wednesday ahead of a government deadline to get off the federal land, and authorities moved to arrest some who defied the order in a final show of dissent. (Tom Stromme/The Bismarck Tribune via AP)  (The Associated Press)

  • Smoke from fires set by protesters goes up as they leave their protest camp on U.S. Army Corps of Engineers property in southern Morton County, near Cannon Ball, N.D., Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2017. Most of the Dakota Access pipeline opponents abandoned their protest camp Wednesday ahead of a government deadline to get off the federal land, and authorities moved to arrest some who defied the order in a final show of dissent. Earlier in the day, some of the last remnants of the camp went up in flames when occupants set fire to makeshift wooden housing as part of a leaving ceremony. (Tom Stromme/The Bismarck Tribune via AP)

    Smoke from fires set by protesters goes up as they leave their protest camp on U.S. Army Corps of Engineers property in southern Morton County, near Cannon Ball, N.D., Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2017. Most of the Dakota Access pipeline opponents abandoned their protest camp Wednesday ahead of a government deadline to get off the federal land, and authorities moved to arrest some who defied the order in a final show of dissent. Earlier in the day, some of the last remnants of the camp went up in flames when occupants set fire to makeshift wooden housing as part of a leaving ceremony. (Tom Stromme/The Bismarck Tribune via AP)  (The Associated Press)

The Latest on the closing of a protest encampment near the Dakota Access pipeline construction site in North Dakota (all times local):

8:15 a.m.

One of the Dakota Access pipeline opponents still at a camp on federal land that was closed by North Dakota authorities says the protesters are committed to staying.

Ed Higgins, from Lowell, Massachusetts, says Lakota elders will call for a meeting with law enforcement to state their belief that the camp is on land that rightfully belongs to Native Americans.

Authorities closed the camp Wednesday ahead of spring flooding, and most protesters left peacefully then.

Higgins says 200 people remain in large tents at the camp, and "haven't come out to show our faces."

Gov. Doug Burgum says only between 25 and 50 people remain. He has encouraged them to leave without the need for arrest, and says authorities are willing to talk with anyone.

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12:05 a.m.

Public officials in North Dakota are pleading with the remaining protesters at the Dakota Access oil pipeline camp to pack up and leave so authorities can resume cleaning up the premises without any further arrests.

Most of the campers marched out of the area ahead of a Wednesday deadline to get off the federal land, and authorities arrested 10 people who defied the order in a final show of dissent. North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum says none of the law enforcement officers left the main highway outside the camp.

Burgum says between 25 and 50 people are left at the camp. He says they will "have every opportunity" to leave without getting arrested.

The governor says the ongoing cleanup at the camp is scheduled to resume at 9 a.m. Thursday.