The Appalachian Advocate - Appalachian Voices' Newsletter



Earthrise by NASA Apollo 8 crewmember Bill Anders on December 24, 1968
Taken by Apollo 8 crewmember Bill Anders on December 24, 1968. Photo by NASA

Dear Members,

When photographs of Earth, as seen from space, first appeared over 40 years ago people were inspired to take better care of our lovely blue planet. The image of Earthrise is now iconic, but when it first appeared in the news, people were amazed at how tiny and vulnerable the Earth appeared.

Less than a year later, the first Earth Day was celebrated.

In Appalachia, we are truly blessed with a beautiful piece of the earth- from beautiful mountain vistas to babbling creeks to ancient forests alive with amazing plant and animal life. It is important to appreciate and enjoy this beauty, but we must speak up for it as well. The threats are many and there is much to do, but we work from a place of inspiration and appreciation for the land we all love.

This Earth Day, let nature inspire you to protect our land, air and water. After all, it’s the only planet we have.

Wishing you Happiness on Earth Day and every day!

Willa Mays
Executive Director

EPA to Significantly Curtail Water Pollution from Mountaintop Removal

On April 1, the Environmental Protection Agency took monumental steps toward reducing water pollution from mountaintop removal coal mining! This action was in part due to your phone calls and emails.

New guidance issued by the agency stipulates that valley fills will not be permitted unless they meet new high standards. Valley fills bury streams and poison Appalachian water, but according to EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson there will be "no or very few valley fills that are going to be able to meet standards like this."

The guidance sets the stage for Congress to follow the Obama administration's lead and pass federal legislation that permanently protects our region's communities and waterways from mining waste. 

Photo by Shane Evans, West Virginian Legistlature
Photo by Shane Evans,
West Virginian Legistlature

The Inherent Dangers of Mining the Coalfields

When a methane explosion ripped through Massey Energy's Upper Big Branch mine in Montcoal, W.Va., on April 12, 29 miners lost their lives. Appalachian Voices expresses our deepest sympathy for the families who have lost loved ones in the mining tragedy. Read the rest of our statement here and learn where to donate to help support the families. 

As we works towards a future beyond mountaintop removal mining, this latest incident has raised questions of whether surface mining is safer than underground mining. Stronger enforcement of laws are needed to give all miners the safest environment in which to work. Read more on our thoughts about mine safety...

Celebrate Earth Day with AppVoices,
Larry Gibson & Trees on Fire!

Join us in Boone April 22 to celebrate Earth Day and support Larry Gibson, a hero of the movement to end mountaintop removal. Gibson will speak at Appalachian State, followed by a special reception at The Greenhouse and an afterparty at Galileo's. Be sure to enter our special drawing for a Vespa Scooter, with donations for the tickets going toward a much needed security system for Gibson's home on Kayford Mountain, W.Va. We hope you'll join us!

Read what one of our volunteers has to say about her appreciation for Larry...

In Virginia? Come celebrate with us in Charlottesville! Check out the Trees on FireC-ville based band Trees on Fire as they unveil their new album, "Organica," at Jefferson Theater on April 24. The environmentally-conscious rock & roots band has graciously pledged 5% of "Organica" record sales to Appalachian Voices! Learn more...

Get out and vote !

2010 Election primaries are fast approaching, and several states have already started their early voting process! If your state is holding primaries on local, statewide or Congressional elections, be sure to cast your vote. For more information on the 2010 elections, visit your state's Board of Elections website or go to Can I and select your state from the list.



Your Donation Makes A Difference
Make every day an Appalachian Earth Day by supporting our work to protect the land, air and water of the region. Give a one-time donation or become a Monthly Mountain Protector today!

Winner of the AMPC Our Ecological Footprint category, Jerry Greer
Winners of the AMPC photo competition were announced on March 27, with Jerry Greer winning a $200 prize from Appalachian Voices for best image in the Our Ecological Footprint category. View all the winners on AMPC's blog.

Paul Taylor SandalsThanks to our business league member Paul Taylor Sandals-- crafting custom handmade leather sandals made to fit your feet. Visit them in Asheville, NC or shop online.

Check out all of our Business League Members

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Earth Day Celebration with Larry Gibson April 22 -- The Greenhouse, Boone, NC

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Trees on Fire CD
Release Party
April 24- Jefferson Theatre, Charlottesville, VA

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Operation Medicine Cabinet
May 22 -- Watauga and Avery counties, NC

April 19, 2010 ~ Vol. 2, No. 4

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Boone, N.C. • Charlottesville, Va. Appalachian Voices Raleigh, N.C. • Knoxville, Tenn.