This article was originally published by Accidental Tomatoes
I was five years old the first time I heard the term strip mining. I was with my mom and a friend of hers at the local high school as they applied for federal assistance in the aftermath of what we in the Tug River Valley of Southern West Virginia refer to as The Great Flood of 1977.
While they waited in line, a petition to end the practice of strip mining was circulated. I recall how strange a term it was, even though at that young age I really had no way of grasping exactly what it meant.
Forty-Five years later, I’m just coming to terms with the meaning, and more importantly what it means for our people. Forty-five years later, it’s time for us all to come to terms with what it’s done and continues to do to the place we call home.
The day of reckoning has arrived.
No Room at the Inn
When I first learned what happened to Appalshop during July’s catastrophic flooding of Eastern Kentucky, I figuratively was…