Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition

Order a Copy of Moving Mountains

Moving Mountains

July 21, 2004
Photos by Vivian Stockman
CD Release Party in Shepherdstown Benefits OVEC, CRMW

Dozens of members of Coal River Mountain Watch and OVEC trekked from the coalfields and Huntington to Shepherdstown, W. Va. as guests of Shepherd University students active in Shepherd Progressive Action Committee (ShepPAC).

Appalled by mountaintop removal, the students wanted to help. They conceived of an awareness- and fund-raiser event for our groups on July 21, followed by a gathering to counter Big Coal's propaganda on July 22. When singer/songwriter Andrew McKnight, who is on OVEC's Action Alert e-mail list, heard about the plans, he rallied fellow musicians on the Moving Mountains: Voices of Appalachia Rise Up Against Mountaintop Removal Coal Mining CD. Our fundraiser became a CD release party! Besides McKnight, musicians Keith and Joan Pitzer and Cherylann Hawk, as well as Falling Mountain label founder Michael DeLalla, all joined ShepPAC in contributing much time and labor to making the event a success.

Coal River Mountain Watch's Judy Bonds presented Appalachian Treasures. Next, coalfield residents answered audience questions about what it is like to live in the shadow of mountaintop removal operations. In a painfully sad moment, hydrologist Don Maxey, brother of Bill Maxey, read a message against mountaintop removal from Bill, who lay dying of cancer in a Charleston hospice. Bill was the head of the WV Division of Forestry who resigned his position rather than endorse mountaintop removal. Bill died three days later

After a short break, the musicians began making us laugh and cry. Out in the lobby, folks were buying up OVEC T-shirts, designed by artist Joe Lung and the Moving Mountains CD.  Many thanks to all!


Outside Reynolds Hall, Shepherd University: Getting ready for the July 21 Moving Mountains CD release party and fundraiser for Coal River Mountain Watch and OVEC. The event was conceived of and hosted by Shepherd University Progressive Action Committee.



Libby, Jeff and Chris, background before the event. Jeff, an OVEC
board member, mastered the sound on the Moving Mountains CD.


OVEC intern Scott Straight tends to OVEC's table.


Don Maxey on July 21, delivering his brother Bill's final statement against mountaintop removal. Bill Maxey died just three days later at age 70. He was a former director of the WV Division of Forestry.  He resigned from that position rather than endorse mountaintop removal coal mining.  According to the Associated Press on July 28, 2004, "...He resigned in 1998. Maxey said at the time that aides to then-Gov. Cecil Underwood forced him to issue a statement toning down his position....He also alleged the state Department of Environmental Protection and federal Office of Surface Mining tried to get him to approve regulations that would justify mountaintop removal mining, the practice of blasting the tops off of mountains to get at coal seams." 


Before the CD release party began, coalfield residents answered questions 
from the crowd about life in the shadow of a mountaintop removal operation. 


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