RAMPS Campaign Vows to Continue Fighting to Save the Mountain
MARFORK, W.Va.—Catherine-Ann MacDougal is descending her oak tree on Coal River Mountain that she has lived in for the past month in protest of strip mining, and police have been notified. MacDougal, an activist with the RAMPS Campaign, had been in the oak tree on Alpha Natural Resources’ Bee Tree permit since July 20; until August 2, she had been joined by fellow RAMPS activist Becks Kolins. Their tree-sit, the longest in West Virginia history, effectively halted blasting on the Bee Tree hollow portion of the site, aside from a small blast released on the third day of the tree-sit.
“The reality of limited resources now necessitates my descent but this is not the last they will see of us. I plan to remain here and fight for this mountain for years to come,” said MacDougal.
The Bee Tree permit is the largest active strip mining permit on Coal River Mountain and is currently up for renewal. At a public hearing held last week by the W.Va. Department of Environmental Protection, about 50 residents showed up to ask questions and submit comments. Many discussed their concern over the health impacts of mountaintop removal, blasting near the Brushy Fork Impoundment, and the destruction of the mountains where they and their families had traditionally hunted, fished, and gathered wild plants.
MacDougal explains that the apparent ineffectiveness of other strategies…
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