Front Porch Blog

Hail to the Chief — Lenny Kohm, 1939-2014


With heavy hearts, we must announce that last week the world lost a true warrior for environmental justice and human rights, and Appalachian Voices lost a colleague and true friend.

Lenny Kohm’s legacy stretches from coast to coast, and from the wilds of Alaska down to the sunny Caribbean seaside. He influenced everyone he met, whether at a meeting about the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, presenting a slideshow on mountaintop removal, or just enjoying a beverage with new friends in Jamaica.

As one person said so aptly in a tribute on Facebook: “Lenny you built an army of good, one person at a time, and we will keep fighting for you.”

Although semi-retired, Lenny was living life fully, as he always does, working on his “Boots-on-the-Ground” project and planning his next trip to Jamaica, which was only a few weeks away. He was found in his home, in his bed. He was 74.

We will miss you, Chief.

UPDATE: A celebration of his life is scheduled to take place Saturday, Oct. 25, 2014 in Boone, N.C. (location TBD). Details will be posted on a website created in Lenny’s honor, and the website is also accepting tributes and remembrances. Visit





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  1. D’Arcy Ballinger on December 7, 2023 at 9:46 pm

    I just visited Firefly in Negril Jamaica. The place I met Lenny. We had a great time every time. Miss Lenny always.

  2. dave cooper on October 5, 2014 at 11:07 am

    Im sorry to hear this, Lenny gave me some good advice about doing the road show.

    I stayed at his place one night when he was telling me about his Alaska road show adventures. … it was a memorable night. A possum came into his kitchen and started rooting around in his piles of stuff in the middle of the night.

    Crazy Lenny, thanks you were an inspiration to me!

  3. russell oliver on October 2, 2014 at 9:20 am

    I enjoyed working with Lenny at the Washington D.C. lobbying to oppose Mountaintop Removal Mining and promote clean water. He always brought a smile on my face and was fun to be around. He always had a positive attitude and was confident about what he lobbied for was going to get done. Lenny was a very special person.
    Russell Oliver Hazard KY one of his KFTC friends.

  4. Mark George Holmgren on October 1, 2014 at 8:39 pm

    Lenny worked for my most adult formative love and inspiration. Thank you, Lenny.

  5. Lucy Norman Spencer on September 29, 2014 at 6:45 pm

    Lenny listened without judgment.

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