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Old 08-23-2007, 02:06 PM
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BigCliff BigCliff is offline
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Default Some things burn me up... the practice known as "mountain-top mining".

Mountaintop removal is a radical form of coal mining in which entire mountains are literally blown up -- and it is happening here in America on a scale that is almost unimaginable.
Mountaintop removal is devastating hundreds of square miles of Appalachia; polluting the headwaters of rivers that provide drinking water to millions of Americans; and destroying a distinctly American culture that has endured for generations.
And what it means to the people of the area...

I’ve lived in this area all my life, except what time I was in the Marine Corps. I’m the kind of person that has always been proud of my heritage. My father was a coal miner. I had three brothers was coal miners. We worked a total of probably approximately 200 years among us. I feel like the work we done underground coal mining, we needed the coal to produce electricity and stuff that our nation needs. But I believe they could mine it better without destroying the environment like they’re doing with mountain top removal.

When I was just a young man, when I first saw coal mining through strip mining – which was a disaster to me – I’ll never forget what my dad said. He said, “Son, this is the ruination of our state if they allow this strip mining to go on like that. They can’t do that in these mountains and survive.” Which he was true, I knew that. But I’ve said I’m proud my dad didn’t live to see this mountain top removal because if he had, he would absolutely… it would have broke his heart. If he knew it today, he would turn over in his grave.

I believe they can mine the coal and do it underground and not do the damage to the environment like they’re doin’. The only reason they’re doin’ it the way they’re doin’ it with mountain top removal is because they can do it with dynamite and machinery instead of workin’ men. They don’t want to pay men a decent wage to mine the coal – they want to use mountain top removal. The way they’re destroyin’ the mountains here now with this mountain top removal is enough to make anybody cry that can remember what it was like before it was started. When I grew up, just as a young kid, I knew that all the streams here was absolutely unbelievable. I could go out anywhere I wanted to and fish any of the streams. Plenty of fish in it, plenty of wildlife, plenty of game to hunt for. I’ve always been an outdoorsman. My dad started me to huntin’ when I was just a young lad, I’d say twelve or thirteen years old, probably. He taught me the safe way to use guns when I went huntin’.

Showed me how to fish, taught me what he could about the proper ways to fish - the way to fish for different types of fish. And at that time, back when I was just a small kid, this stream here, called Little Coal River, was listed as the best bass stream and fishing stream in the state of West Virginia, and that’s coverin’ a big lot of territory. And it is a fact. I can well remember the fish that was here. Big deep holes of water everywhere you would go! It was unbelievable.

As a matter of fact, right here in the old Y and O Camp where I grew up, there’s a big hollow called Roach’s Branch. There was thousands of acres of virgin timber in there, never had an axe carried to it. Thousand of acres. And it was absolutely beautiful – you could not believe! Back up in that hollow, there was just a small stream come out of it. There was big holes of water in there that was over my head when I was 13-years-old. You could catch lots of fish even up in there. Fish that was unbelievable!

But since they’ve started all this strip mining and mountain top removal, all the slides and stuff comin’ off the mountains goes right into the river. It’s got the river beds all filled up. There’s none of those big deep holes left anywhere. The fish is all gone.
from Jim's Story | Stop Mountaintop Removal

And it being expanded-

I'd rather hunt fish than bait deer any day.
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