Front Porch Blog

20 years of action, innovation and collaboration


This year, Appalachian Voices is celebrating two decades of bringing people together to stand up for the mountains, for clean rivers and drinking water, for farms, forests and wildlife, and for healthy communities across the Appalachian region.

It’s been an amazing journey so far, marked by significant victories, and more than a few roadblocks and potholes. We’ve grown stronger and wiser, stayed nimble and tackled pressing issues as they’ve emerged, yet we stayed true to our vision of ensuring a vibrant and just economy in Appalachia that sustains our region’s natural treasures.

Read more about our work and hear stories from our longest-standing supporters.

20 for 20! Become a member for our special anniversary rate of $20.

Our roots run deep in Appalachia — our connection to the land and people sustains us in everything we do. Whether in the halls of Congress, in the courtroom or on the riverbank, we take a stand on behalf of our members and people throughout the region.

Over the years – and working shoulder-to-shoulder with dozens of partner groups — we halted the proliferation of wood chip mills that threated southern forests, cut toxic air pollution from North Carolina coal-fired power plants, scored a historic legal settlement against one of Kentucky’s largest coal companies, pressured Duke Energy and North Carolina to finally address the state’s coal ash crisis, and stopped what would have been the largest coal-fired power plant in Virginia.

Copyright: Kent Mason

Copyright: Kent Mason

Our signature campaign has been to expose the atrocities of mountaintop removal coal mining in Appalachia to the rest of the country, and the world, and we remain wholly committed to the goal of ending mountaintop removal once and for all.

Appalachian Voices has also been in the forefront of moving the region toward adopting clean energy as both an environmental and a social justice imperative. We launched our innovative Energy Savings for Appalachia program in 2013 to motivate rural electric cooperatives to provide upfront, debt-free financing for residents – many of whom are low-income – to do energy efficiency home improvements.

swva solar fair 2017 - lydia with banner

And our New Economy for Appalachia program, launched in 2015, promotes a more diverse, sustainable economy. In particular, Appalachian Voices is advocating for federal investment to repurpose old coal mines for new, sustainable economic activity, and helping lead a burgeoning effort to establish Southwest Virginia as a hub for the solar industry.

Copyright: Kent Mason

Copyright: Kent Mason

Through it all, the soul of our mission has been our connections to citizens who live in the communities on the frontlines of Appalachia’s energy landscape and our core strength has been the partnerships with dozens of local, state, regional and national organizations.

After 20 years of action, innovation and collaboration, Appalachian Voices is on solid ground as we look ahead to continuing this amazing journey over the next 20 years — and beyond.





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