The Appalachian Advocate - Appalachian Voices' Newsletter


Dear Members,

Summertime in Appalachia is teeming with many pleasures, such as farmer's markets that are just starting to overflow with fresh fruits and veggies. Our region's farmers are wonderful partners in building a sustainable Appalachia, as featured in the newest issue of The Appalachian Voice.

Watauga River photo by Megan Naylor
Bella the bluetick hound cools off in the Watauga River. Photo by Megan Naylor

Since there is no greater pleasure than splashing in our cool rivers and streams on a hot summer day, I want to personally invite you to join us at our Watauga Riverkeeper Festival at the Valle Crucis Community Park on Saturday, July 24. The event is free and will include many activities for kids. Come meet our staff and bring your friends!

With your support, we have come a long way towards protecting the land, air and water of Appalachia. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recently gave a temporary thumbs down to a mountaintop removal site on Ison Rock Ridge in Virginia, stating that federal Clean Water Act permits were needed before mining could begin.

And just last Thursday, the Army Corps of Engineers announced that it would be suspending the fast track permitting process of valley fill permits for mountaintop removal mining known as Nationwide Permit 21, requiring the permit requests to now undergo greater scrutiny--including an opportunity for public comment. But we still need a law to to actually stop the practice .

Growing Congressional support, increased accountability by regulatory agencies, and recent industry announcements are fruits of the long term commitment you and others like you have made to the movement. Thank you... like the rains of summer feeding our growing gardens, you are pushing us ever nearer our goal.

See you in Valle Crucis!

Willa Mays
Executive Director


North Carolina Reconsiders Investment in Massey

Representative Pricey HarrisonAppalachian Voices has teamed up once again with one of N.C.s strongest environmental advocates, state Rep. Pricey Harrison, to introduce a bill stripping North Carolina state investments in Massey Energy, owners of the Upper Big Branch coal mine in West Virginia where 29 miners lost their lives in an explosion in April. Read about the new bill and watch video from the press conference.

Is Duke Energy Waking Up To The Truth About Mountaintop Removal Mined Coal?

Mountaintop removal mining in Wise County, Virginia - Photo by Jamie GoodmanFor the first time in history, Duke Energy has asked its suppliers to quote the price for coal not mined with mountaintop removal, stating that for them, the mountaintop removal option appears to be “an unsustainable coal." But will Duke actually take action? Read about it on our Front Porch Blog.

Protecting Our Rivers From Drugs

Avery County participated in Operation Medicine Cabinet for the first time this springThe second High Country Operation Medicine Cabinet, sponsored in part by our Watauga Riverkeeper, was a huge success this spring, taking 188,563 pills and 20.2 gallons of liquid medicine off the streets and keeping them out of our water system. Over 150 people turned in a wide variety of unused medications for safe disposal, from oxycodone to anti-depressants and pet medications. Read about the drug takeback day (and see the video!) on our Front Porch Blog.

Chilling on the Watauga RiverAV's Riverkeeper Festival Coming Soon...

On July 24th from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Appalachian Voices will host the Watauga Riverkeeper Festival at the Community Park in Valle Crucis, N.C. The event will feature games, live music, and fun on the river. Stay tuned to for more details!


The Appalachian Voice summer issueLucious Local Food Issue!

The June / July / August issue of The Appalachian Voice is now on newsstands and online, featuring sustainable agriculture, geocaching, Edible Landscaping and more! Read it today...



Your Donation Makes A Difference
Help to elevate Appalachia as one of the most beautiful and biodiverse places in the country. Join Appalachian Voices today!

Dear Companion album by Ben Sollee and Daniel Martin Moore

Dear Companion goes on "Appalachian Voices" Tour
Producer Yim Yames of My Morning Jacket will join musicians Ben Sollee and Daniel Martin Moore in July for a "mountaintop removal mining awareness" tour to support Appalachian Voices. Come join us!

Music on the Mountaintop

More Music for the Mountains
Tickets are now on sale for the 3rd annual Music on the Mountaintop, August 27-28. Appalachian Voices is the festival's 2010 featured non-profit!

Business League Spotlight

Better World Telecom
This month we feature the only nationwide telecommunications carrier solely focused on serving businesses and non-profit organizations that have social and sustainable missions -- BetterWorld Telecom.

Check out all of our Business League Members


Special Screening of
"On Coal River"
sponsored by Appalachian Voices and Reps. Patrick Kennedy and Heath Shuler
Thursday, June 24 -- 6-8 p.m.
United States Capitol, Washington, D.C.
Visit this site to RSVP

All Good Music Festival
July 8-11-- Masontown, W.Va
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4th Annual Bamboo Festival
July 10-11 -- Asheville, N.C.
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Herpetology House
July 17 -- Salato Wildlife Education Center, Frankfort, Ky.
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Watauga Riverkeeper

July 24 - Valle Crucis, N.C.
Stay tuned to for details!
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Music on the Mountaintop
August 27-28 -- Boone, N.C.

June 16, 2010 ~ Vol. 2, No. 6

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