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Removing the Appalachian Mountain Range

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For any of you into mountain cartography, it looks like you will no longer need to update only the roads and communities on maps for the famous Appalachian Mountain Range, how about updating the entire mountain range (or lack of it) instead!

Coal companies in the U.S. are systematically blasting off the top 1/3 of the Appalachian Mountains to get at the coal deposits below. They then push the blasted mountain top rock into the adjacent valleys, burying streams, wildlife, etc. They also burn all the oak and other hardwood forests they have scraped off the mountain in the process, as they just consider it scrap.

This is really disturbing stuff, and I can't even believe anyone in this day and age could sanction this. Then again........they say Bush has actually been re-writing the laws himself which previously prevented the filling of valleys and watersheds.

What is going to be next, the Rockies? Oh, that's right there probably aren't enough coal deposits in them...........don't worry I am sure they will think of something.......gravel maybe?


You can read more here:

Mountain Justice Summer

News Articles:


Peeling the Smokies - Mountaintop Removal Meets Fresh Resistance in Tennessee

Our Oldest Mountains are being blown away
Gillian Auld
EcoGraphic Design

Design is the intermediary between information and understanding
Richard Grefe



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if I remember correctly there's some footage of mountain top removal landscapes in the recent movie North Country.

unlike our neighbor WV, it's still illegal to remove the mtn top here in southeast Ohio. but the alternative isn't so great, either-- the soil structure is so damaged that it no longer supports tree roots. so, instead of a non-indigenous landscape of no mountain-polluted water-trees, it's another non-indigenous landscape of grassy savannahs.

(speaking of North Country, the opening of that movie is very mappy and interesting, some air photography shot only in plan perspective from a low altitude. delineates a detailed map of the bleakness of the story's landscape before the story has even begun, and the low altitude makes it a little too close for comfort.)

Martin Gamache

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There was a good article in Harper's magazine this spring about this and the author has a book that is due out soon...I talked to him about making some maps for it but it never went anywhere for lack of a budget and follow up on my part.....

Erin John LeFevre

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........they say Bush has actually been re-writing the laws himself

Bush can write? :)

Nick Springer

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In big letters, with a crayon.

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Hans van der Maarel

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Obligatory Douglas Adams reference coming up:

So that's where that suspicious-looking extra moon is coming from... <_<
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