OVEC's "Reclamation" Galleries
Click thumbnail images to view galleries. Explore the galleries and follow the sidebar links to learn more
Harry Caudill described strip mining reclamation efforts as akin to
putting lipstick on a corpse. And that was before mountaintop
removal / valley fill coal mining.
How can you reclaim the Central
Appalachian's incredibly biodiverse mixed mesophytic forests (or
"mitigate" for the region's biologically-crucial headwaters streams?)
If you don't live in our woods, it's hard to comprehend their
richness. According to Central Appalachian edition of The Smithsonian
Guides to Natural America, the Kanawha State Forest boasts "more
than 1,000 species of trees and plants, including 23 types of wild
orchids, within its 9,474 acres. Seven types of sunflowers, for
instance, were in bloom...Fourteen trails wind for 25 miles amid various
forest communities...They provide glimpses of the rich vegetation,
including the fleshy little touch-me-nots, the sinewy American hornbeam,
hemlocks, papaws, umbrella magnolias, witch hazels, asters, cardinal
flowers, joe-pye weed, bloodroot, sycamores, sassafras and a wealth of
Kanawha State Forest is typical of the Southern West
Virginia mountains being annihilated by mountaintop removal coal mining.
Indeed, a mountaintop removal site borders the southern edge of the
These are the lands we use for gathering herbs and
hunting. These are the hills that support our culture. Here are born the
streams that feed the rivers millions of people rely on. All are being
lost to mountaintop removal / valley fill coal mining--all in the name
of "cheap" energy.
We only have estimates--and please send
us study citations if you have them: According to our best available
information, mountaintop removal mined coal accounts for about
five percent of the coal burned for electricity in the United Sates.
Repeat--the late is only an estimate and we are looking for solid
information. With currently available energy efficiency and conservation measures, we
could save from 20 to 30 percent of our energy usage. Mountaintop
removal coal mining is unnecessary, uneconomical if you think in terms
ecosystem services and
ecological economics, and immoral. What we are losing can never be
Please explore our photo galleries and the links in the sidebar to
learn more about "reclamation." Then join us in working to abolish
mountaintop removal and steep slope mining.