“My whole thesis is that you can’t understand America until you understand Appalachia.”

– Jeff Biggers, author and cultural historian

The roots of traditional Appalachian culture reach back over 200 years. The region is famous for its old-time music and folktales, split rail fences and log cabins, patchwork quilts, gourd dippers, cider and moonshine. Appalachians are a generous, hospitable, earnest and down-to-earth people and fiercely loyal to their families, communities and to the nation.

Appalachians, having been shaped by the rugged terrain, have a strong bond with the land and in turn have shaped American culture.

Appalachians are renowned for their strong work ethic and the region itself is characterized by yeoman farms, textile mills and coal mines, all which have contributed greatly to this country’s success.

The Threats

Folks in Appalachian have endured practices which have extracted immense wealth from their region, while leaving communities and environments in disrepair.

Mountaintop removal coal mining has destroyed nearly 500 mountains; some of the poorest counties in the country are in areas where strip mining is common. Sludge impoundments adjacent to mountaintop removal mine sites can leak toxic pollutants into nearby groundwater; impoundments have failed, causing massive destruction to communities and waterways. And coal-fired power plants threaten health, safety and environment of folks in Appalachia and beyond.

Folks from Appalachia at the 4th annual End Mountaintop Removal Week in WashingtonWhat We Are Doing About It

Appalachian Voices is committed to promoting the people of our region. We believe the health and heritage of our communities are worth far more than the coal for which they are being forsaken. We are determined to foster health and lasting prosperity in Appalachia, and are making every effort to promote a future worthy of our children.

Program Work

Federal Efforts

Opposing New Coal-fired Power Plants