For Our Members

Brenda Huggins, Awarded Outstanding Volunteer in Watauga County

Appalachian Voices would like to congratulate and thank Brenda Huggins for her dedication and service. She has been honored by the State of North Carolina as an Outstanding Volunteer in Watauga County.

Brenda is a great volunteer and is always lending a helping hand. She drives from Hickory to Boone in order to volunteer her time in the office. She has done it all; from calling all over the country to set-up mountaintop removal presentations, to stuffing envelopes for membership mailings. Brenda also worked to pass a clean air resolution in the town of Hickory. In addition, Brenda delivers thousands of the Appalachian Voice in Lenoir, Hickory and Morgantown. Last but certainly not least, Brenda was a huge help with organizing and soliciting prizes for our very successful open house in November!

Congratulations Brenda and thank you!

Appalachian Voices Volunteer Update

Ending Mountaintop Removal
JW Randolph and Jenna Lowe organized our MTR Wednesday volunteer nights. We held 10 volunteer nights where our volunteers made phone calls to members and activists across the country urging them to write their representatives and tell their families and friends about the devastating effects of mountaintop removal coal mining. Adam Wells has joined our intern team working on our MTR campaign. Eric Willis also collected and analyzed data on MTR in West Virginia.

Clean Air Campaign
Erica Palmer led our Clean Air Campaign Tuesday volunteer nights. We held 10 volunteer nights awesome students from Appalachian State University. The volunteers made phone calls and sent packets for our Virginia Clean Air Campaign. The group was a great team, working hard and getting to know one another over pizza.

Appalachian Voice
Foster Hunt, Assistant Editor for Design and Steve Wussow, Assistant Editor have done an excellent job working on the past two issues of the Voice. Foster has been instrumental in creating ads for the Voice as well as developing professional Business League Membership materials. Steve’s assistance in research and writing for the Voice has been a tremendous asset.

Open House, Raffle and Silent Auction Fundraising Event
Katie Higgins and Brenda Huggins worked hard on creating one of the best open house events. Both did an excellent job of organizing and soliciting donations for the raffle and silent auction. In addition, Katie has been working with the membership coordinator sending out our fall business renewal mailing.

General Office Support
Elizabeth Chatfield, our work-study student this fall, has graduated with a degree in Biology from ASU. Elizabeth is amazing! She conducted research and managed our mountaintop removal kit requests and contact list and always offered her assistance with any task. We will miss Elizabeth, but know she will accomplish great things! Stephanie Hall was a huge help with our business renewal mailing this fall. She also assisted with the Open House and was an excellent addition to our overall general office support.

This fall the Appalachian Voices office was fortunate to be one of the subjects of ASU’s Interior Design class. We had 24 professional students come in and redesign our office space to be more efficient and organized. The students were great and provided us with a fresh look at our space and how to arrange and organize our systems. We would like to thank Jeanne Mercer-Ballard and her students for the great designs and work they did for us this semester.

Boone Saloon Fundraising Event
Kelley Chapman organized a very successful benefit concert for our mountaintop removal campaign at the Boone Saloon. Kelley lined up two great bands, Crookneck Squashers and The Bootleg Crew, which brought the crowds. This was an excellent opportunity for us to show our slideshow on the devastating effects of mountaintop removal, bring more people to action to stop this destruction, and raise some money.

We can always use more help. If you are interested in becoming an intern or volunteer, please contact Shelly at or (828) 262-1500.

Restorative forestry workshop in Ashe County, NC

The Healing Harvest Forest Foundation (H.H.F.F.) will hold a free public workshop on “Restorative Forestry in the Southern Appalachians” on March 18th, 2006. The event will be hosted by Michael and Virginia Tate of Ripshin Farms near Jefferson, NC.

H.H.F.F. certified Biological Woodsmen and their draft horse teams will be on hand to explain and demonstrate their “worst-first” single tree harvesting techniques. Local land owners, forest workers, students, and families are encouraged to attend and witness real ground-level practitioners in the environmentally sensitive logging movement. There is no attendance fee but donations are encouraged and will go directly towards training more Biological Woodsmen. This program teaches the necessary, theory, skills, and safety measures to those wishing to make a living in the mountain forest while promoting the longevity of the ecosystem.

A special invitation is extended to all teamsters interested in skill sharing. The H.H.F.F.’s crews will be showcasing the rare Suffolk Punch breed and this will be a great opportunity to talk with other horsemen and share your experience. Those wanting to bring their own teams are encouraged to do so and should contact Ian Snider at (828) 262-3000 or no latter than March 1st.


On January 4 the Park Service published a notice of availability of the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for the North Shore Road through the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in the Federal Register. While the DEIS did not identify a preferred alternative, it did indicate that the Environmentally Preferred alternative is a Monetary Settlement for Swain County. The public has until March 20 to comment. In addition, a series of public hearings are scheduled. Turnout at these hearings and a strong public response in support of a monetary settlement instead of the road is critical.

The proposed 34-mile road would breach the largest unbroken tract of mountain forest on federal land in the East, leaving a gash on the landscape that would be visible for miles. Cutting through the most rugged section of the park, the road could include three massive bridges, each one roughly the length of the Brooklyn Bridge. Among other impacts, the road would bisect the Appalachian National Scenic Trail and be visible for many miles along the AT, destroy 28 miles of the Benton MacKaye Trail, pose a serious threat to 140 pure mountain streams due to polluted runoff from exposure of the acidic rock in the area, and harm vital habitat for a multitude of forest species including black bear and migratory songbirds.

The World Conservation Union has judged the Park: “The most important natural area in the eastern US … of world importance as an example of temperate deciduous forest. [I]ts floristic diversity is unmatched in any other protected area of its size in the temperate world.”

The National Park Service has publicly acknowledged in the past that the highway would serve no transportation need, and would jeopardize the agency’s mission to protect the rich biological and cultural resources of the Park. The National Park Service began construction of a replacement road in the 70s, but quit after completing seven miles due to the extreme environmental damage and exorbitant costs.

For updates, additional photos, or more information on what you can do, visit:

AV Mountain border tan1

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Leave a Comment