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Canoe protest against Sandpiper line planned for Friday in Bemidji

BEMIDJI -- Environmentalist group Honor the Earth will hold a canoe rally Friday in Bemidji against the proposed Sandpiper oil pipeline.

The protest and media event is planned to begin at 5 p.m. at the Lake Bemidji waterfront near the Paul and Babe statues, a release from the group said.

"The public is encouraged to attend with their canoes and paddles," the release said.

The Sandpiper crude pipeline is proposed by Canadian energy company Enbridge Energy to transport crude oil from the Bakken field in North Dakota on to refineries in Superior, Wis., and beyond. The proposed route goes through Enbridge's terminal in Clearbrook and then makes a sharp right turn, deviating from the route used by existing Enbridge lines, avoiding Bemidji and instead going near Park Rapids. Honor the Earth opposes the route in part because of the perceived risk to water bodies and wild rice fields in the event of a spill.

Honor the Earth's executive director, Winona LaDuke, will also be conducting a horse ride rally from Aug. 14 to Aug. 29, with the closing event at the Rail River Folk School in Bemidji on Aug. 28.