Issue 5: August 2008

Inaugural New River Trail Race A Success

Runners of the first New River Trail 50K (NRT 50K) began their race with foggy 48 degree temperatures on Saturday, October 11, but finished with bright skies and sunny conditions. Of the 102 racers at the start of the 50K (31.1 miles) course—known as an “ultramarathon”—100 crossed the finish line and 96 finished in the […]

Kanawah State Forest

By Joe Tennis All of a sudden, we saw a snake, lounging in the cool, rocky waters of a creek in the Kanawha State Forest. It was a little snake, about a foot long. Yet I couldn’t tell what kind it was. Neither could my hiking buddy, Justin. Was this a fake snake? Did somebody […]

Letters to the Editor

Natural Gas is Responsible Dear Appalachian Voices, With reference to your Spring 2008 Appalachian Voice on natural gas drilling – As a “clean fuel” natural gas is reasonably available in this country. Coal seam gas extraction has garnered increased attention due to its availability; but it is NOT a new energy source. In southern Appalachia, […]

The long term cost of COAL power VS. WIND power

Wind farm campaign for Coal River Mountain Residents of West Virginia’s Coal River Valley have launched an exciting new campaign to bring a wind farm to Coal River Mountain. Coal River Mountain is one of the last mountains left intact in the beautiful Coal River Valley of West Virginia. However, Massey Energy has plans to […]

Hawksnest Tunnel

The First Gauley Disaster By Bill Kovarik Seventy five years ago, the area where the Gauley River and the New Rivers meet became known as the site of America’s worst industrial tragedy. The same water power that today attracts recreational enthusiasts from over the world was, at the time, attracting the attention of hydroelectric engineers. […]

Cougars still fascinate Appalachian naturalists

By Noa Davidai Pop quiz: Which mammal has the most widespread distribution in the Western Hemisphere? No, it’s not the rat, the squirrel, or even the deer. It is us, ladies and gentleman—human beings. But this was not always, or naturally, the case. In the not-so-distant past, the mammal with the most extensive natural range […]

Appalachian Voices Launches Upper Watauga RiverKeeper

The Upper Watauga River just got a new friend. Donna Marie Lisenby, an award-winning environmental advocate, began serving on the staff of Appalachian Voices as the first Upper Watauga Riverkeeper this June. Lisenby will be a full-time public advocate for the entire watershed including the Watauga River, the Elk River, Roan Creek and Watauga Lake. […]

Energy by and for the people

Public opinion polls are showing a serious problem with the debate over our future sources of energy: the American people strongly agree on solutions. Well over 80 percent of Americans consistently agree on renewable energy and conservation. In poll after poll, people strongly approve of the idea of building a sustainable future for their children. […]

A High Water Year on the New & Gauley Rivers

By Tom Cormons I made the best move of my life in the spring of 1997. With my ’84 Firebird stuffed with most of the gear I’d use to live outside until October, I left Charlottesville, headed west. I’d made this trip to West Virginia’s New River Gorge many times before, but always knowing that […]

The greening of a Cherokee school

The Eastern Band’s new K-12 campus By Margaret V. Williams Seen from high above, the new school might remind you of the outline of the Big Dipper — a short handle with two circles at the end. Zoom in, and you see the circles are two-story buildings ringing huge, one-acre courtyards, and the handle holds […]

How Green is your Campus?

There are many ways to find out how green your school is. The US EPA has a green power challenge for colleges, and Princeton Review has a rating system. There are also a dozen ways to make your school greener. And there are new funding initiatives through the Dept. of Education for financing green initiatives […]

Big Trouble on the Gauley

Gauley and New River Gorge residents worry that new mining operations will destroy tourism and their hopes for the future Story by Bill Kovarik American’s best whitewater is in big trouble. Mountaintop removal mining has arrived. Already one trout stream is dead and another is in jeopardy. Whitewater rafters and kayakers who flock to the […]

National Parks threatened

By Katie Easter Fact—one in three national parks have above standard air pollution. Fact—there are over 100 new coal fired plants across the country. Fact—currently 28 new plants are to be developed within 186 miles of ten national parks. The Great Smoky Mountains of Tennessee and North Carolina, Mammoth Cave of Kentucky, and the Shenandoah […]

Trampling the Promised Land

Suburban Sprawl Now Dominates The Rural Landscape of America By Kathleen Marshall   The story of development in Appalachia goes back to 1585, when Lt. Ralph Lane sent surveyors to explore from what would, one day, be Chesapeake Bay south to present-day North Carolina. In a letter back to England, the Elizabethan explorer wrote, “. […]

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  • Naturalist's Notebook

    Naturalist's Notebook

    Cougars still fascinate Appalachian naturalists

  • Hiking the Highlands

    Kanawah State Forest