April/May 2015


Under Pressure

Fracking — a type of natural gas extraction — is a loud, polluting neighbor in many Appalachian communities, and the nation’s appetite for natural gas also raises concerns along the path of proposed pipelines.

As its grip grows stronger, this popular new fuel is bringing familiar burdens to a region long acquainted with the booms, busts and hidden costs of extractive energy industries, and also raising the threat of continued dependence on fossil fuels.

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Under Pressure: A Fractured Relationship with Natural Gas

Across the East, fracking for natural gas is advancing in starts and stops — as some states embrace the practice, another bans it, and still more consider the risks and potential rewards of entering the fracking fray.

Digging Under the Surface: West Virginia’s Fracking Boom

Many West Virginia landowners agreed to sever the right to use their land from their rights to the minerals buried beneath the surface long before the onset of fracking technology. Today, fracking operators are using those old leases to bring industrial development to formerly secluded country homes, like the ridge above David Wentz' house.

Pipe Dreams: The push to expand natural gas infrastructure

Landowners whose property lies along a natural gas pipeline route worry about local impacts, while others warn of the long-term consequences that could come with a reliance on this fickle fuel.

Citizen Scientists Tackle Climate Change

Across the region, volunteers from all walks of life are recording when the dogwood blooms and when the warblers arrive. These citizen scientists are compiling observations that help researchers monitor subtle changes in seasonal events, and provide the backbone for extensive projects to track climate change.

FloydFest 14 Celebrates Music, Community and Sustainability

Situated on a picturesque ridge just off the Blue Ridge Parkway near Floyd, Va., FloydFest: Fire on the Mountain, is a stellar music festival with a community feel and an emphasis on family, art and celebration. This year, Appalachian Voices was chosen as the featured nonprofit.