October/November 2014



Ecotourism Rises Along with Hope for a Region’s Future

After enduring generations of the booms and busts of an economy almost entirely dependent on the coal industry, the residents of far southwest Virginia are beginning to take their economic future into their own hands by capitalizing on the mountainous region’s incredible natural beauty to promote ecotourism.


A Family's Troubled Water

After mountaintop removal coal mining began near their eastern Kentucky home, the Halberts saw their water quality and quality of life plummet. Three years later, they continue to seek answers.


Getting Wild: The Tennessee Wilderness Proposal

This year is the 50th anniversary of the Wilderness Act. Currently, a proposal to designate nearly 20,000 acres of the Cherokee National Forest as official wilderness sits in Congress. Writer Chris Samoray takes a hike through a proposed wild area along the Bald River.


Seeking Justice: Activists and agencies react to systemic violations of mining laws

James C. Justice is the rare, modern-day coal baron who actually resides in Appalachia. Despite his local ties, Justice-owned operations in five states have earned him a reputation among environmental advocates as one of the region's worst violators of mining laws.


One Artist’s Experience with Coal Ash

Caroline Armijo began an environmental justice art project after seeing many friends and family die from cancer in her North Carolina community, near one of the state’s largest coal ash impoundments. In this excerpt from her website, she describes the circumstances that shaped her paper sculpture creation, titled “Gray Matter.”


The Truth About Coal Ash

Coal ash — the byproduct of burning coal for electricity — is currently less regulated than regular household garbage. Filled with heavy metals, coal ash is proven to contaminate groundwater and pollute communities with dust.

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