Nothing beats spring in the Appalachians. Redbuds paint the mountainsides, beautiful shades of green color the forests, refreshing rains swell the creeks and birds practice their repertoire in earnest after the long winter. Spring is a time of renewal, and here at Appalachian Voices we took the opportunity at a special staff meeting last week in Boone to renew our spirits, camaraderie and commitment to our mission.
With all our staff members gathered in one room, we shared with each other all the work we are doing and preparing to do. It was a wonderful opportunity to take a step back from daily demands and look at the big picture with our colleagues. For me, it was both inspirational and motivational to see everyone sowing the seeds for many victories ahead as we strive to protect Appalachia's land, water and communities.
With Earth Day just a few days away, consider giving back to Appalachia this year and help support our work to ensure a clean energy future for the region.
Wishing you a joyous spring,
Nearly 80 percent of power plants in the U.S. do not have limits for the amount of arsenic and selenium that can be dumped into our waterways. But there is hope! The EPA is set to release proposed rules later this week that would update standards on the disposal of coal plant wastewater, known as effluent, that can pollute our rivers and lakes with toxic heavy metals -- and it's up to all of us to ensure the best science is applied. [ Read more and check back to add your comments ]
New Report Debunks "War on Coal" Claims
Misleading claims of a "war on coal" continue unabated, so we thought using employment data from the U.S. Mine and Safety Health Administration might counter the pro-industry outcry. The analysis we conducted shows that mining jobs in Central Appalachia actually increased between 2000 and 2012 despite production decreasing by nearly half. [ Read our report and draw your own conclusions ]
Sally Jewell, the chief executive of REI, has been described by President Obama as having "a keen understanding of what it means to be [a good steward] of our natural resources." But despite broad bipartisan support, the new Secretary of the Interior will face a cantankerous Congress and the challenge of reconciling competing energy and environmental interests. [ Learn more about Secretary Jewell and the work ahead ]
Looking for a Few Good Team Members
Interested in working with a group of people dedicated to preserving the natural and cultural heritage of Appalachia? Appalachian Voices is accepting applications for two AmeriCorps Project Conserve positions to serve from September 2013 to July 2014. Deadline is May 22. [ Read about the positions and apply now ]