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New Reuters Video Focuses on Mountaintop Removal in Kentucky

By Megan Naylor
Megan is a frequent contributor to The Appalachian Voice publication, and served as Appalachian Voices’ Communications intern during Spring and Fall 2010.

Appalachian Voices traveled to eastern Kentucky to show Reuters the impact of mountaintop removal.Kentuckians for the Commonwealth, a partner organization, helped to coordinate the trip.

The video focuses on the impacts of mountaintop removal in eastern Kentucky and the great strides Google Earth has made in communicating the scale of the devastation it is causing.

“What Google Earth allows you to do is to show this is millions of acres,” said Matt Wasson referring to how important a tool Google Earth is in showing the bird’s eye view of the immense destruction spreading across the Appalachian Mountains.

Rick Handshoe, resident of Floyd County Kentucky and member of Kentuckians for the Commonwealth shares Wasson’s concern.

In the video he vividly describes the pollution that mountaintop removal mining has caused in streams while the camera pans slowly across the creeks gurgling brown down the hillside. The land has been in his family for nearly 200 years.

Dr. Matthew Wasson, an ecologist and the director of programs for Appalachian Voices, also took some still shots of mountaintop removal and valley fills while there.

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