Byron "Stix" Steskal stands on his family property by Eagle Creek, fed by a spring from the Oglala Aquifer, three feet below. The property has been in his family since 1940.
"[The land] It means everything. It’s kinda what I put together for my retirement so I didn’t have to work until I was 80. It’s a place for me to relax and get away. I’ve got quails and eagles and deer and coyotes and wild animals. It gives me a place to go out and do physical work to try and keep in shape. It makes me feel good inside to know that my renter is raising food to feed the multitudes. I have three different renters, young men that are just getting started. I think I’m helping them out too to get them started on what they’d like to do, their livelihood. The land means a lot to me, it really does.
Two things that we’re pushing for as pipeline fighters is reliability. I don’t want to be liable for someone else’s property, because it’s their property that’s in my ground. As far as a spill or anything that has to do with the pipeline is theirs, it doesn’t belong to me. The other thing is removal when the pipeline is used up. [The pipeline contents] are toxic, it’s got the same, if not worse, elements in it that gasoline or diesel fuel has. The other thing is to is if they don’t take it out of the ground, when it rusts, that’s three feet across, it’s going to collapse, you’re going to have a three-feet ditch.
- Eric Kayne
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[TransCanada] actually only contacted me with an easement once. After that I got a little scared or skeptical and I jumped in with NEAT (Nebraska Easement Action Team) right away. And after that I told them that Dave Domina is my attorney, anything you have to say needs to go to him, and don’t send me anything. I told them if they continued to try and contact me I was going to sue them for harassment. As far as what they offered, the total amount…for estimated crop damages, accelerated acquisition, the easement and the survey, the total amount was $285, 084.43. That is for a 1.285 mile easement.
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