"I hated mountaintop removal mining at first sight; I thought it was awful. You see, I grew up in these mountains, with the beauty, serenity and joy you feel inside this place. These mountains are so beautiful; I didn't want them destroyed. And I wanted my children and my grandchildren to enjoy them," says Julian Martin.
"The first time I saw strip mining I couldn't believe my eyes. It stunned me so much that I stopped the car and got out. They'd taken a bulldozer and just destroyed the mountain. I couldn't understand why anybody would do that. It changed everything. The mountains went from beautiful to ugly in what seemed like no time at all."
Julian Martin is the son of an underground coal miner, a former chemical engineer, retired school teacher and West Virginia's first Peace Corps Volunteer In 1999, Julian walked across the state of West Virginia with another Mountain Hero, Larry Gibson, in protest of mountaintop removal mining. He hasn't stop marching since.