Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition
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August 2009
Contents

Floods ... Again
OVEC Organizer Wins International Recognition with Green Nobel
JOBS and Energy Answers for Our WV Mountain Communities
Picnic for Green JOBS
MTR Mining Equipment Taken Off Gauley Mountain For Now
Board Adds Conditions to Disputed Fayette County Mine Permit
Lets Make Sure the Transition to a Clean, Green Energy Future in WV is a Peaceful One
Calling All Potential New OVEC Board of Directors Members!
Congress Doesnt Always Want to Come CLEAN
The CLEAN Citizens Leading For Energy Action Now
American Clean Energy Security Act: Coal Rewarded
Good Gosh, We Could Have Used That Money to Jump Start the Clean Energy Future in America!
Slurry Lawsuit Settlers Frustrated With Wait for Money
Mountains Aided With First-Ever Fundraising Concert in North Carolina
Sludge Safety Project Legislative Session Wrap-Up
DEPs Sludge Study Results: Agency Still Dont Know Nuthin
OVEC Organizer Testifies at Senate MTR Hearing
Thanks for All the Volunteers Who Helped After the Floods
Fighting For Our Ancestors Resting Places
Lobbying for Green Jobs in DC
Growing Movement Demands Protection for Mountains, Climate, Humanity
Environmental Groups Ask EPA to Take Over WV Pollution Permitting
Byrds Eye View: Staffers Get Close-Up Views of Mountain Range Removal
A Good Win in A Critical Federal Court Case Against MTR
Judicial Bill Pulled by Governor
Supreme Court Case Makes WV A National Laughingstock
Eating For OVEC Keeps Raising $$$
Photovoice Participants Capture their Communities in Images
Photovoice Exhibitions Well Covered By Local and Statewide Media
You Dont Have to Go to Copenhagen to Make a Difference
Obama and Mountaintop Removal Mining: The Roller Coaster Ride
New CD Celebrates Coalfield Resistance to Mountaintop Removal
Blair Mountain and the National Register of Historic Places
Ashford Yesterday, Today and Maybe Tomorrow?
Come Home to West Virginia? Buyer Beware!
Louv-ley Day in Charleston
Who Are They Kidding?
Web Extras:
Open Letter to Governor Manchin about Blair Mountain
Matewan, West Virginia


For viewing the PDF version of the newsletter

 
Winds of Change Newsletter, August 2009     See sidebar for table of contents

Blair Mountain and the National Register of Historic Places

 
More than 70 people gathered to protest Gov. Manchins request that Blair Mountain not be granted federal protection.

On March 30, the National Park Service placed Blair Mountain in Logan County, WV, on the National Register of Historic Places.

The announcement came after decades of campaigning by local residents, historians and conservationists, with help in recent years from OVEC, other groups affiliated with Friends of the Mountains and the Sierra Club.

Blair Mountain is one of the most important labor historic sites in the nation. In 1921, 10,000 people clashed on Blair Mountain as coal miners rose up against coal barons in defense of the right to unionize. The undeclared civil war that followed lasted 10 days and became known as the Battle of Blair Mountain.

This legendary event is now characterized as Americas largest labor struggle. The shooting war pitted union and anti-union forces against one another in the mountains of Logan, WV, and culminated in the arrival of federal troops at the governors request.

"National Register designation is a vitally important step in the preservation of Blair Mountain, a site we listed as one of Americas 11 Most Endangered Historic Places in 2006," says Richard Moe, president of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. "Nevertheless, the threat of coal mining activity at Blair Mountain remains present and we will continue to vigorously oppose mining efforts at the site."

Local residents celebrated the announcement of the listing. "Im so happy to see the culture and history of Logan County being honored," said Kenny King, a Logan County resident and long-time proponent of the historic listing for Blair Mountain. "The next step is to get local officials to realize the value of putting a local tourism center on Blair Mountain."

Archaeologist Dr. Harvard Ayers and historian Dr. Barbara Rasmussen collaborated on the most recent, successful nomination of Blair Mountain to the National Register of Historic Places. OVEC board member Regina Hendrix has been a leader on this issue for the past 8 years.

Just days after the designation, news reports said Governor Manchins administration had written a letter petitioning the Keeper of National Register of Historic Places to delist Blair Mountain.

Friends of the Mountains quickly organized a protest of this action. Moments before the noon protest began, the state issued a press release saying the Governor was not involved in the letter sent to the Keeper and the state did not mean to petition the Keeper for de-listing.

Since his days as WV Secretary of State, Joe Manchin has received nearly 1 million dollars in campaign contributions from the coal industry.

The Charleston Gazette reflected the views of many when the newspaper editorialized that it was hard to believe the Governor knew nothing about what was going on.

On July 6, news came that the Keeper was moving to delist Blair Mountain after reviewing the letter sent from the West Virginia Division of Culture and History. Watch the OVEC website for the latest information and contact the office at (304) 522-0246 to get involved.

 

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