Appalachian Treasures Wraps Up Successful Spring Tour

The Appalachian Treasures Project brings its four-month spring tour to an end this month. Danny Dolinger took to the road in April to build a national network that will end mountaintop removal coal mining. Danny reports: “It’s been very heartening to meet so many decent, involved people who universally are shocked & appalled when they hear what is happening to their neighbors in the coalfields.”

He continues: “It is an incredibly gratifying experience to go out & meet the unacknowledged, hard-working, civic-backbone of this country by going to groups of faith & groups who are committed to meeting their civic responsibilities to their communities. There’s a great deal of incredible work going on through our churches, Rotaries, Kiwanis Clubs & the like, as well as the conservation groups we find all across the country.”

With the help of incredibly dedicated volunteers who live in the Appalachian coalfields, the Appalachian Treasures presentation has reached over 40 groups and communities across the country since our kick-off in March. We are so grateful to the groups that host Appalachian Treasures and to the coalfield residents who give their time so generously to accompany Danny on the road and tell their stories of life in shadow of mountaintop removal mines: to date, , Mary Miller, Pauline Canterberry, Bill Price, Joan Linville, Bill McCabe, and Charles Blankenship. It is inspiring to know that there are additional coalfield residents ready and willing to support this project when outreach tours begin again in September.

One of the more tangible results of the Appalachian Treasures outreach presentations is a May 25th editorial from The Patriot News, in Harrisburg, PA. After meeting with Danny, Joan Linville, and the Rev. Sandy Strauss from the Pennsylvania Council of Churches, the editors of the paper came out strongly against mountaintop removal:

“Such environmental destruction as this [mountaintop removal] — and we’ve barely touched on its full ramifications — should not be allowed in the United States of America. Indeed, it should not be allowed anywhere on this planet where there exists an ounce of respect for the land or even a modest concern for the people who call it home. This type of mining needs to be stopped in its tracks.”

These are very strong words coming from the primary newspaper in the capitol of a coal mining state!

Although the outreach tours take a hiatus during the months of July and August, the Appalachian Treasures team will be hard at work to build on our successes to date and weave them into an autumn of incredible energy for ending mountaintop removal.

The Appalachian Treasures Project relies on the dedication of groups and individuals who give generously of their time to host our presentation. We extend our deepest gratitude to:

*St. Bonaventure University, Olean, NY – Earth Justice Office & Student Earth Corps
*New York Public Interest Research Group (NYPIRG), Buffalo & Syracuse, NY
*Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY
*Social Justice Cluster of Area Churches, Cortland, NY
*Buckeye Forest Council & Appalachian Sierra Club group, Athens, OH
*Prof. Nancy Manring’s Environmental Politics class at Ohio University (Athens)
*Prof. Linda Taylor, Dept of Geology at Ohio University – Zanesville, OH
*Ohio Citizen Action, Columbus, OH
*Marilyn Welker, Amy Gomberg & others, Columbus, OH
*Wolf Creek Environmental Center, Sharon Center, OH
* Piasa Palisades Sierra Club group, Alton, IL
*Dr. Randy Auxier’s Philosophy & Ethics class, Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, IL
*Coal Extraction and Utilization Research Center, SIU, Carbondale, IL
*Shawnee Greens & The Interfaith Center, Carbondale, IL
*Students for Environmental Concerns, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, IL
*Missouri Forest Alliance, St. Louis, MO
*First Lutheran Church, Muskegon, MI
*Environmental Stewardship Coalition at Calvin College, Grand Rapids, MI
*Pax Christi group at Sisters of St. Joseph Mother House, Kalamazoo, MI
*Larry Shalda, Muskegon, MI
*West Michigan Sierra Club group & Fountain Street Church, Grand Rapids, MI
*Peacemaking unit of Market Square Presbyterian Church, Harrisburg, PA
*Clean Water Action, Philadelphia, PA
*Social Justice Committee of the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Pottstown, PA
*Fellowship Luncheon at the Senior Center of Pascagoula, MS
*Our Home Unitarian Universalist Church, Ellisville, MS
*Mount Pleasant United Methodist Church, Gulfport, MS
*Rev. Anne McKee, Campus Chaplin, Maryville College (TN)
*Environmental Concerns Committee – Tennessee Valley Unitarian Church, Knoxville, TN
*St. Scholastica Monastery (Benedictine Sisters), Duluth, MN
*Peace United Church of Christ, Duluth, MN
*Audubon Center of the North Woods, Sandstone, MN
*Bishop Peter Strommen, Evangelical Lutheran Church – NE Minnesota Synod
*Duluth, MN office of Representative Jim Oberstar
*Pennsylvania & Ohio Council of Churches advocacy offices

Rotary Club of Utica, NY
Rotary Club of Ashtabula, OH
Rotary Club of Wyoming, MI
Rotary Club of Curwensville, PA
Rotary Club of Hatboro, PA
Rotary Club of Martinsburg, PA
Rotary Club of Huntingdon, PA
Rotary Club of Exton-Frazer, PA
Rotary Club of Horsham, PA
Rotary Club of Willow Grove, PA
Kiwanis Club of Flowood, MS
Exchange Club of Biloxi, MS
Rotary Club of Maryville, TN
Rotary Club of Loudon, TN
Knoxville Breakfast Rotary, TN
Quad Cities Rotary Club, MN
The Patriot News (Harrisburg, PA)
The Knoxville News-Sentinel (TN)
The Daily Times (Maryville, TN)
The Duluth News-Tribune (MN)

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