Issue 1: February 2005



States Should Step In to Safeguard the Mountains

As this issue of the Appalachian Voice goes to press, the US Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works is poised to vote on the Clear Skies Act. Despite its misleading name, Clear Skies would actually make air pollution worse


Student Volunteers Take Appalachian Voices by Storm

Editors note: Students from Appalachian State University have been flooding the offices of Appalachian Voices for nights we call “Pizzas and Vistas,” where they mobilize dozens of volunteers to advance Appalachian Voices’ clean air campaign. We thought one night per


Harlan County Goes to Hollywood....Again

Late last year, I was invited to Lincoln Center in New York City to attend the premiere of a restored edition of the 1976 film “Harlan County, USA.” The original film print had begun to deteriorate, and an organization called


Appalachian Treasures Project Launched

In March, Appalachian Voices and Coal River Mountain Watch will begin touring the country to build a national network of people who will work together to protect coalfield communities from mountaintop removal. Dubbed the Appalachian Treasures Project, the effort will


How to Help Stop Global Warming

There are many groups both national and regional that are working to educate people and encourage political leaders to take global warming seriously. One of the most interesting of these is the Climate Connection, a program of the North Carolina


In Search of the Pileated Woodpecker

Both the sight and sound of a pileated woodpecker are unforgettable. The call of the bird has always struck me as jungle-like, sounding more like a chattering monkey than a chirping bird. Most folks who spend any amount of time


Action Alert! Help Stop Rollbacks of Clean Air Laws

As the 109th Congress launches its session, the administration in Washington is clearly determined to advance new air pollution laws that will undermine the existing Clean Air Act. Their first attempt comes in the form of the Clear Skies Act,


Powerline Paths

From the ground, they are long, barren alleys into the forest, sometimes narrow, sometimes as wide as an interstate, and always ugly. From the sky, they are strands of thread traversing the fabric of the land, stitches that both


One Valley, Two Worlds

Climbing the steps at C.D. Owen High School in Black Mountain, NC, as hundreds of my classmates do each morning, offers two unique and contrasting perspectives. Looking straight ahead, as most do when preparing to start their school day, we


Small Farms Get Creative to Survive

They’re all mavericks of a sort – unmarked and unbranded, apart from the crowd and outside of the mainstream, and just outside of Boone, NC. They believe the traditional family farm is in danger, yet they are not all


The First Appalachian Journey

A country road in the west of Scotland. I look out at the sweep of field and forested hills surrounding us, and I feel a sense of calm. “It looks right,” I say. A month later I went home to


Toxic Lakes of Goo and You

Members of Coal River Mountain Watch, concerned coalfield residents and the Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition are working together on a “Sludge Safety Project,” www.sludgesafety.org. The Mary Reynolds Babcock Foundation is funding the initiative. Focusing on West Virginia, the project’s goals


Too Hot to Handle?

We’ve heard about the threat of global warming for decades, but for those of us who live in the Appalachian Mountains, the danger may seem far away. Amidst all the talk of melting ice caps and flooded coastal cities,


Personal Geography

We are marked by the place we call home, not the house or people (though that is true, too), but by the land. I am the daughter of the mother of mountains, child of this earth’s oldest river, suckled by