The Appalachian Advocate - Appalachian Voices' Newsletter

September 24, 2019

Trail hikers and nature lovers: Join Hands Across the AT!

Both the Mountain Valley and Atlantic Coast fracked-gas pipelines are proposed to cross the treasured Appalachian Trail on U.S. Forest Service lands, but can’t thanks to longstanding protections under federal law. As these issues unfold through numerous legal cases, more must be done to protect the AT and stop these pipelines for good.

[ Join trail hikers and enthusiasts for the Hands Across the AT events Sept. 28 (Giles County and Augusta County, Va) and Sept 29. (Loudoun County, Va)! ]

Also, share why you love the AT and why you don't want the Mountain Valley or Atlantic Coast fracked-gas pipelines. On your favorite social media platform, be sure to use #noMVP, #noACP, #stopworknow, #HandsAcrosstheAT, #protecttheAT, #Thruhikersagainstpipelines

A decision point for abandoned coal mines

A centuries-long legacy of coal mining supported the development of the United States, but also left an immense amount of mined land in need of reclamation. Last week we released an interactive web map and accompanying analysis that examines the Abandoned Mine Land inventory, sheds light on the scope of the problem, and identifies where funds need to be directed and how much funding is necessary to reclaim these abandoned former mine sites.

[ View the Abandoned Mine Lands story map ]
[ Read our in-depth report ]

We respond to Gov. Northam’s 100% zero carbon promise

Last week, Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam signed an executive order setting a goal for Virginia to achieve 100 percent zero-carbon electricity by 2050. While we applaud that pledge, some of Virginia’s current energy policies contradict that very commitment.

[ Read our statement and learn more about Executive Order 43 ]

Bankrupt mines and reclamation problems

Virginia regulators have initiated bond forfeiture for five mine permits owned by recently bankrupt coal companies. This is the strongest tool regulators have for dealing with chronic mine reclamation problems, but as our Willie Dodson explains, the path forward is anything but certain. Meanwhile, people living downhill from one of these mines are threatened by runoff and debris from the mine site above.

[ Read more ]
[ Blackjewel’s black lung problem ]

Saving Appalachia’s lost heirloom apples

For the past two decades Tom Brown has worked to rescue the lost heirloom apples of Appalachia, traveling the region on the hunt for little-known apple varieties such as Cannon, Sheepnose Sweet, Fort’s Prize and Junaluska, which he then grafts, raises and sells at his nursery. To date he has recovered more than 1,000 different varieties.

[ Learn about Tom's quest ]
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Attend a National Solar Tour event near you!

Throughout October, more than 700 homes, businesses and institutions across the country will open their doors to showcase their solar installations and engage communities around the power of solar energy. In addition, 70 multi-site tours will take place, including a tour in Wise County, Va., on Oct. 19 hosted by Appalachian Voices, the Solar Workgroup of Southwest Virginia and other partner groups!

[ Check for locations near you or join us for the Wise County tour!]


Appalachian Voices is committed to protecting our land, air, water, and communities. Join the fight and become a member today!



Now hiring!
Appalachian Voices is seeking to hire an individual with strong organizing skills and a keen interest in social and environmental justice as our Energy Democracy field coordinator in Virginia. Learn more and apply!


Elk Viewing Tours
Various Fall Dates:
Visit Jenny Wiley State Resort Park to see the reintroduced elk population. Prestonsburg, Ky.

AML Reauthorization Webinar
Sept. 27:
Join a webinar hosted by the Reclaiming Appalachia Coalition to learn the importance of reauthorizing the Abandoned Mine Land fund.

Hands Across the AT
Sept 28 & 29:
A special weekend to stand up for the Appalachian Trail and other cherished public lands against fracked-gas pipelines. Three events at different locales in Va.

Learn and Preserve: Jefferson County Regional Water Symposium
Sept 28:
Learn about protecting the water system in Jefferson County and explore how to take action with local organizations. Harpers Ferry, W.Va.

Water Quality Creek Walk
Sept. 28:
Celebrate Public Lands Day at Warriors’ Path State Park with science and fun! Kingsport, Tenn.

High Knob Naturalist Rally
Sept. 28:
The Clinch Coalition hosts this 13th annual event with guided hikes, kayaking, presentations and more. Norton, Va.

Appalachian Voices Open House
Oct. 9:
Join us for casual food, drinks, and conversation at our Norton, Va., office!

Cumberland Watershed Conference
Oct. 10-11:
This free conference will highlight the challenges that climate change present to species in the Upper Cumberland Watershed. Corbin, Ky.

Fall Butterfly Tagging
Oct. 12:
Visit Ijams Nature Center to help tag migrating Monarch butterflies. Knoxville, Tenn.

Fall Color Weekend
Oct. 18-20:
Enjoy the peak of fall colors at Pine Mountain Settlement School with daytime hikes, presentations, and evening activities. Bledsoe, Ky.

Southwest Virginia Solar Tour
Oct. 19:
Visit homes, businesses, and nonprofit organizations to learn about solar. Big Stone Gap, Va.

Full Beaver Moon Hike
Nov. 11:
Hike three miles through Cass Scenic Railroad State Park under the light of the full moon. Cass, W.Va.

Environmental Calendar of Events
[ Full calendar ]

Vol. 11, No. 9


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