It’s hard to know where to begin. The West Virginia mountains are the reason I know plants. I am an herbwife because of the place that raised me. The mountain I grew up on is solid coal-free limestone. Many mountains close by are not so fortunate.
I can’t explain mountaintop removal coal mining here. You have to see it. I have been on a mountaintop removal site. It’s absolutely chilling. Even the video I linked to can’t really convey the feeling.
Some of the local groups organizing against mountaintop removal have put together an education / social networking site called ilovemountains.org. It’s an interesting ideaâ€”an opportunity for people to let their friends know what’s going on, and to track their connections to other people concerned about mountaintop removal. Another site with more ideas about concrete actions that people can take is stopmountaintopremoval.org.
Please do check out the sites, learn about mountaintop removal, and take some action. As someone pointed out at an herb gathering recently, Appalachia has been a really important reservoir for herbal knowledge in a country where herbwifery all but died out by the mid-twentieth century. Let’s show some respect for our grandmother herbwives and get our asses in gear to protect their mountains.