Links about Mountain Top Removal
Looking into the culture of Appalachia - Tending the Commons: Folklife and Landscape in Southern West Virginia incorporates 718 excerpts
from original sound recordings, 1,256 photographs, and 10 manuscripts from the American
Folklife Center's Coal River Folklife Project (1992-99) documenting traditional uses of the
mountains in Southern West Virginia's Big Coal River Valley. Functioning as a de facto commons,
the mountains have supported a way of life that for many generations has entailed hunting,
gathering, and subsistence gardening, as well as coal mining and timbering. The online collection
includes extensive interviews on native forest species and the seasonal round of traditional
harvesting (including spring greens; summer berries and fish; and fall nuts, roots such as
ginseng, fruits, and game) and documents community cultural events such as storytelling, baptisms
in the river, cemetery customs, and the spring "ramp" feasts using the wild leek native to the
region. Interpretive texts outline the social, historical, economic, environmental, and cultural
contexts of community life, while a series of maps and a diagram depicting the seasonal round of
community activities provide special access to collection materials.
a resource and action center in the fight against surface mining in Appalachia. This website
has lots of great Google
Earth maps and videos.
Coal Swarm is a wiki-style shared information tool for groups and individuals
on issues of coal mining, coal-fired electrical generation,
coal-based synthetic fuels, and more.
West Virginia photo
gallery with mountain top removal descriptions.
Mountains CD: Voices of Appalachia Rise Up Against Mountaintop
Moving Mountains is a compilation of songs and interviews
directly related to the fight against Mountaintop Removal Coal Mining
(MTR) in southern West Virginia. Inspired by the struggle of
the hard-working people
MTR negatively impacts, producer and founder of Aurora Lights,
Jen Osha gathered songs and interviews and put together this
CD, subtitled Rise
Up Against Mountaintop Removal Coal Mining. Described as “a moving and
well-done musical concoction that successfully bottles the verbal rage
against the machines gobbling up Appalachia’s mountaintops in search of
coal,” (The Herald-Dispatch, Huntington, WV), the music brings a light
to the permanent destruction of mountains, rivers, streams, and
communities. The compilation has raised $6,500 in small grants to support
local groups in the Coal River valley, WV.
Books about mountaintop removal mining
- Coal River,
by Michael Shnayerson. Coal River is Shnayerson’s
account of the dramatic struggle unfolding in southern
West Virginia. From courtroom to boardroom, forest clearing
to factory floor, Shnayerson gives us a
novelistic and compelling portrait of the people who risked
their reputations and livelihoods in the fight against
Save the Land and People: A History of Opposition to
Surface Coal Mining in Appalachia, by Chad Montrie
- Lost Mountain: A
Year in the Vanishing Wilderness, Radical Strip Mining
and the Devestation of Appalachia, By Erik Reece. Lost
Mountain is a groundbreaking work of literary nonfiction
how radical strip mining
is destroying one of America's most precious natural resources
and the communities that depend on it.
- Moving Mountains:
How One Woman and Her Community Won Justice from Big Coal,
By Penny Loeb. Moving Mountains recounts the struggle
of Trish Bragg and other ordinary West Virginians for fair
treatment by the coal companies that dominate the local
economies of southern West Virginia.
See these films
Removal, a film by Michael C. O’Connell.
with Mountain Justice activists and Coal River
valley residents Ed Wiley, Maria Gunnoe, and Larry
Gibson. The feature documentary film also includes Judy
Big Coal author Jeff Goodell, West Virginia Governor
Joe Manchin, President George W Bush and West Virgina
coal association spokesman Bill Raney. Mingo county
resident Carmilita Brown's twenty year battle for clean
is also explored in the film. Mountain Top Removal
was produced and directed by Michael C O'Connell, executive
producers are Gill Holland and Maura O'Connell.
Music from Donna the Buffalo, Sarah Hawker, Jim Lauderdale
and John Specker is featured in the film.
The Indiegrits Film Festival,
Second place winner for best feature
Charlotte Film Festival,
Best Documentary 2007, Indie Spirit award winner
Scenic Environmental Film Festival, Winner, Jury Award
Film Festival, Winner, Reel Current Award, award presented by Al Gore.
Burning the Future: Coal in America
In Burning the Future: Coal in America, writer/director David Novack examines
the explosive forces that have set in motion a groundswell of conflict between
the coal industry and residents of West Virginia. Confronted by an emerging coal-based
US energy policy, local activists watch the nation praise coal without regard
to the devastation caused by its extraction. Faced with toxic ground water, the
obliteration of 1.4 million acres of mountains, and a government that appeases
industry, our heroes demonstrate a strength of purpose and character in their
improbable fight to arouse the nation's help in protecting their mountains, saving
their families, and preserving their way of life.
Movie, A documentary by Catherine Pancake.
Black Diamonds, the Fight for Coalfield Justice covers
strip mining from the 1960's to present day mountaintop
Appalachia, a film by Sasha Waters, explores the potential
for environmental and economic justice in the coalfields
and communities of southern West Virginia by chronicling
a grassroots fight against the expansion of the nation's
fourth-largest mountaintop mine.
Bucket Outlaw, an appalshop film by Tom Hansell. Coal
Bucket Outlaw examines the connection between coal haulers
and the larger system that produces America's electricity.
"We're all outlaw truckers... I don't know of one
that don't break the law on a daily basis, on an hourly
basis, most of us on an every load basis." - Herb
Adams owner/operator of a coal truck in Letcher County,
is a documentary that investigates a recent Kentucky coal
waste disaster and examines the role of federal regulatory
agencies in the coalfields. Filmed over four years, the
documentary chronicles the aftermath of the spill, the “whistleblower”
case of Jack
Spadaro, and the looming threat of coal sludge ponds
throughout the region.
- Other Appalachian
video documentaries from Appalshop
Ours (2004), a film by Jeff Barrie. The message of this
sincere and personal documentary, filmed during an 18-month
journey around the southeastern region of the United States
in search of answers to the most urgent environmental issues
of our day: global warming, air pollution, childhood asthma,
and mountaintop removal coal mining in Southern Appalachia.
The film encourages all of us to make changes in our use
Partners and ally groups in Appalachia
Groups fighting extractive industries worldwide
Click here for a list of