A publication of Appalachian Voices


A publication of Appalachian Voices

Environmental and cultural news from around the Central and Southern Appalachian region



Fire Destroys Office at Highlander Center, White Supremacy Sign Found

The main office of the historic Highlander Research and Education Center in New Market, Tenn., burned down in March. A symbol associated with white supremacy was found spray painted outside the racial, social and economic justice organizing center.


Clinch Coalition Draws Attention to ATV Impacts on Streams

Southwest Virginia environmental watchdog group The Clinch Coalition is expressing concerns about damage to streams and wetlands from some of the Spearhead Trails network's off-road vehicle trails.


Plans for Development at Tennessee’s Rocky Fork State Park Meet Opposition

Conservation advocates claim that the state's plans to build build a visitor center, parking lot, bridge and two-lane road at the rustic state park would endanger wildlife habitat.


Tribal Governments Dispute Proposed Casino

The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians claims that a federal bill allowing the Catawba Indian Nation to build a casino in North Carolina is "a modern day land-grab" of Cherokee aboriginal lands, while the Catawba argue that they have rights to the land.


EPA Rejects Proposed Oak Ridge Landfill

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency rejected a controversial landfill in Oak Ridge, Tenn., that was to contain low-level radioactive and mixed waste from a federal laboratory and security complex.


Deadly Elk and Deer Disease Spreads

Wildlife officials discovered cases of Chronic Wasting Disease, which causes brain degeneration in elk and deer, in Tennessee. This has led to some states taking precautions to avoid disease spread.


Study Finds Red Wolves are a Distinct Species

The National Academy of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine found that red wolves are a distinct species, allowing the species to be listed under the federal Endangered Species Act.


Agency Says Hellbenders Not Endangered

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service decided not to list the Eastern Hellbender salamander as endangered, prompting protest from conservation groups.


Cleaner Air in North Carolina and Virginia

Although state officials in North Carolina and Virginia reported significant improvements in air quality in recent years, a nonprofit organization released a report in May stating that 96 percent of national parks are damaged by air pollution.


Tennessee Law Blocks Localities From Banning Plastic Bags

Gov. Bill Lee signed a law banning local governments from enacting regulations against certain plastic bags and utensils after Nashville and Memphis considered taxes on single-use plastic bags.


Environmental Groups Reach Agreement with Forest Service for Timber Sale

After three years of deliberations with environmental groups, the U.S. Forest Service reduced the acreage of a timber sale in the Jefferson National Forest and took other measures to protect water quality.


Proposal for Ohio River Water Pollution Standards Undergoes Third Revision

The proposed plan would continue to allow the Ohio River Valley Water Sanitation Commission to set water pollution limits, but would allow states to make different restrictions on a conditional basis.


Southeast Endangered Species Get Less Funding Compared to Other Regions

Conservation biologist Bernie Kuhajda found that some aquatic species outside of the Southeast receive as much as 46.6 times more funding than those in the region.


Appalachian State Student Government Passes Climate Neutrality Bill

The ASU student government voted unanimously in favor of a bill calling on the Boone, N.C., university to pursue a net-zero impact on greenhouse gas emissions by 2025.


Doctoral Student Helps Virginia Tech Labs Go Green

Virginia Tech doctoral student Ellen Garcia is implementing green practices such as recycling and energy efficiency at the university's science labs.