Bloggers for Headwaters Protection

Here’s a page I’ve put up that has the information you need (as hard as it has been made to access) to speak out against the weakened protections of watersheds in the process of mountain top coal extraction. Below, the letter I’ve sent via the comments page (see link above) as well as to my congressman.

Please feel free to cut and paste to your blog or web page the whole message from the linked page above. Or just use the letter I sent as a model, editing as you see fit. AND DO IT SOON.


I am writing in regard to DOCKET ID OSM-2007-0007 which if allowed would further weaken environmental protection of the natural and human environments in the coal-bearing portions of the Appalachian states where mountain top removal coal extraction is currently taking place.

I support as rapid a transition as possible away from our dependence on coal to provide electricity. I support a significant increase in our national budget toward alternative sources of clean energy such as geothermal, wind, solar and other methods.

I support a national effort mandated from the Presidential office and sustained across successive administrations to significantly reduce our inefficiencies and waste of electrical energy and to support and require significant conservation measures that would obviate the purported need for numerous additional coal-fired facilities in the coming decades.

I am strongly opposed to mountain top removal as a means of obtaining coal at the expense of our mountains, the headwaters of our streams and for the health and safety risks that kind of mining poses to families and communities.

I am opposed to this pending regulation that serves those who financially profit from extraction efficiency and punishes all of us who share the harm brought to the commons of the natural communities we call home.

Share this with your friends!

Fred First holds masters degrees in Vertebrate Zoology and physical therapy, and has been a biology teacher and physical therapist by profession. He moved to southwest Virginia in 1975 and to Floyd County in 1997. He maintains a daily photo-blog, broadcasts essays on the Roanoke NPR station, and contributes regular columns for the Floyd Press and Roanoke's Star Sentinel. His two non-fiction books, Slow Road Home and his recent What We Hold in Our Hands, celebrate the riches that we possess in our families and communities, our natural bounty, social capital and Appalachian cultures old and new. He has served on the Jacksonville Center Board of Directors and is newly active in the Sustain Floyd organization. He lives in northeastern Floyd County on the headwaters of the Roanoke River.

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  1. Thanks, Fred. My letter will go off today. When we built our sunporch onto our existing deck, we reaped the unexpected benefit of heating our small house nearly all winter long using the sunporch’s solar panels. If our gov’t would provide a tax write-off to homeowners/companies building solar units (as they did at one time) we would all benefit.

  2. fred….i will post about this in a couple of days, for my readers, too. i sent a letter directly to the office of surface mining and reclamation, but they just sent me a generic reply and told me to leave a comment on this comment page. but like you said, it’s nearly impossible to get to that page.

    i’ll go over this evening and post my own comment there, as i haven’t yet. and i’ll get hubby to, also.

  3. I’ve been enjoying your blog for quite some time, and can’t remember if I’ve ever commented before. Knowing about your campaign against mountain top removal mining, I immediately thought of you when I saw this article “Death of a Mountain” Perhaps you have already seen it – very graphic! Carry on your good work!