In southwestern Virginia, a mountain known as Ison Rock Ridge — along with several headwater streams — is slated for destruction to access the coal seams inside it. During October, Appalachian Voices, the Southern Appalachian Mountain Stewards and the Wise Energy for Virginia Coalition are hosting three major rallies to save Ison Rock Ridge. The first rally will be in Richmond, Va. on Oct. 17 and feature a funeral procession for mountains already lost. The following day, Oct. 18 a rally will be held at the Governor’s Energy Conference in Richmond. The third rally will be in front of the Environmental Protection Agency headquarters in Washington, D.C., on Nov. 16 at noon, to remind the EPA that the fate of Ison Rock Ridge and nearby communities is in their hands. Visit wiseenergyforvirginia.org for more information.
This fall, our Appalachian Treasures tour hit the road once more to educate citizens about mountaintop removal coal mining. In September, Appalachian Voices Field Organizer Austin Hall and W.Va. native Adam Hall (no relation), visited the great states of Ohio and Pennsylvania with our Appalachian Treasures slide show. During one week, the team talked with over 200 people from Rotary clubs, churches and civic meeting halls about the devastation caused by mountaintop removal coal mining.
Austin has been with Appalachian Voices for more than five years as one of our top-notch field coordinators. Adam is a veteran of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. His family farm was destroyed by the Edwight Surface mine in Raleigh County, W.Va.
In mid-October, the Appalachian Treasures tour will head to Indiana and Illinois. Visit appvoices.org/apptreasures for details.
In September, over twenty-five people from across Appalachia travelled to Wise County, Va., to visit with the Southern Appalachian Mountain Stewards (SAMS) for the fourth annual Weekend in Wise County. People came to see mountaintop removal coal mining, some for the first time, and to learn more about the difficult issues facing those who live in areas impacted by Appalachian coal production. The students, families and individuals who made the trek helped SAMS clean up nearly forgotten graveyards, tested water below strip mines and learned about the history and culture of southwestern Virginia. The schedule combined education, hands-on activities and merriment to encourage the attendants to help make a difference from their homes. Appalachian Voices provided support to SAMS in pulling the event together.
Appalachian Voices recently traveled to Delaware to publically deliver over 35,000 petitions to that State Attorney General Beau Biden, who has the power to revoke coal-giant Massey Energy’s ability to conduct more bad business in Appalachia. Bobby Kennedy, Jr. also joined the campaign, as did residents of coal-bearing regions whose families are impacted by Massey’s disregard for workers and mountains. Massey Energy is now a subsidiary of Alpha Resources, but even with a name change they can’t hide from they damage they’ve caused. Learn more on our Front Porch Blog, and sign the petition at appvoices.org/revoke-massey-charter.