Front Porch Blog

Appalachian Treasures Tour Pennsylvania and Ohio: It’s A Wrap.

Fresh off the road from a fantastic Appalachian Treasures Tour in Pennsylvania and Ohio, I wanted to take a moment to wrap up the tour with a recap of events.

First of all I wanted to give my profound thanks from the entire Appalachian Voices team and to Adam Hall who joined us on this latest tour. Adam, a native of Raleigh County West Virginia, is a highly decorated veteran of the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars (Recipient of: Distinguished Service Cross, Silver Star, Bronze Star, Purple Heart), whose family farm was destroyed by the Edwight mountaintop removal mine in Raleigh County, WV. This sprawling mountaintop removal mine sits above the Marsh Fork Elementary School. He is rapidly becoming leader in the fight to end mountaintop removal coal mining, and I am honored he is willing to take time away from his work with the Friends Of Blair Mountain and the Keepers Of The Mountains to travel with us.

We had a great presentation tour in Pennsylvania and Ohio. Speaking at churches, rotary clubs and local businesses we encountered dozens of caring individuals who upon learning about the horrors of mountaintop removal became instantly energized to join the movement that will put an end to this practice.

We shared the story of mountaintop removal and it’s devastating impacts to communities and the environment of Appalachia to approximately 200 Ohioans and Pennsylvanians. The presentations generated dozens of hand written letters to Representative Steve Latourette (Oh-14), Representative Todd Platts (PA-19), Representative Mike Doyle (PA-14) and Representative Mike Fitzpatrick (PA-8) urging them to protect the mountains of Appalachia and co-sponsor the Clean Water Protection Act HR 1375. Hopefully our efforts and the efforts of our presentation hosts and audiences will result in important new bipartisan co-sponsors to this bill that will help end mountaintop removal!

Thank you so much to all of our hosts, without you these trips would be impossible. We cannot express how much we value those who attend, host and assist these vital presentations.

Austin served as the North Carolina Campaign Coordinator from 2009 to 2011, and was instrumental in the push for the Appalachian Mountains Preservation Act, spreading awareness about the use of mountaintop removal mined coal in five Southeastern states.


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