Fighting against mountaintop removal, this week we’re proud to announce the support of an incredibly strong woman: writer and activist Terry Tempest Williams. We know our supporters care deeply about the welfare of animals in the wild, and saw this vividly on our Facebook page when we highlighted the animals of Appalachia in a photo album on Facebook.
The Appalachian Mountains contain some of the richest assortment of wildlife in the country, from white-tailed deer to great horned owls. When these mountains are blown up by coal mining, not only are we losing the beautiful landscape, we are also destroying the habitat of the wildlife that make their home in Appalachia.
Following her own passion for wildlife, Williams has written on the lives of a clan of endangered prairie dogs, showing how they are the creators of “the most sophisticated animal language decoded so far.” Respect for life in all its myriad forms is a topic she argues for with sensitivity and detail.
Williams is known for her strong positions on environmental and social issues, and has worked in the wildernesses of Utah, Alaska, and even Rwanda. She has written environmental classics such as Refuge: An Unnatural History of Family and Place, and An Unspoken Hunger, and received multiple awards for her work.
She has joined Earthjustice’s campaign as a Mountain Hero after witnessing mountaintop removal firsthand in West Virginia. She writes, “It put everything I believe about democracy into question. Mountaintop removal is a violence that howls and an injustice that screams.”
Terry Tempest Williams is joined this week by local Mountain Hero Cindy Rank. After spending a night in a cave and enjoying the wilderness of a friend’s central West Virginia land, Cindy fell in love and moved to the “Mountain State” to build a cabin with her husband, Paul.
But in 1977, strip mining came along and began to pollute local streams and destroy communities. “Our world changed and life hasn’t been the same since,” says Cindy. From then on, Cindy committed her life to protecting her community. She won the battle over a permit to strip mine in her community, and went on to fight mountaintop removal. Cindy won some battles, but mountaintop removal is still occurring around all of Appalachia.
Do you want to be included in the list of Mountain Heroes alongside Terry Tempest Williams and Cindy Rank? Be sure to submit your photo to our petition that will let the EPA know loud and clear that mountaintop removal is a practice that must be stopped! You can submit your photo and message here. Please take this action for the mountains and people of Appalachia.