Chesapeake: The Sierra Club Maryland Chapter Newsletter
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by Neil Williamson | 2007

A member reflects on his Appalachian heritage, and mountaintop removal mining

Thank you, Md. Chapter, for printing Betsy Reeder’s “Lasting Impressions” article in the Winter ’06-’07 edition. I am a descendent of Appalachian economic migrants. There are hundreds of thousands of us  scattered around the country, maybe millions. My family vacationed, like Betsy, to the West Virginia state parks, in the 1950’s, taking our grandparents back to  the mountains they loved. But I am glad they died  before having to witness mountain-top removal coal mining.

My request to the Maryland Chapter leadership: Please publish in Chesapeake websites of our fellow organizations’ that are struggling to stop this destruction. At, visitors can see several excellent videos, including Mary Ann Hitt of Appalachian Voices, and Maria Gunnoe, a mom-turned-activist who has lost her home to King Coal. This site also links to other great groups—the Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition, Coal River Mountain Watch, and others.


Neil Williamson

Greenbelt, MD


Editor’s note: For more about mountaintop removal mining, see Kim Stenley’s essay, “Speaking of Mountains.”  Kim provides a list of resources following her essay for those interested in learning more about this environmental catastrophe.

> 2007 Table of Contents


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