Appalachia coal mines hiring new generation | The …
The report holds little hope of returning to the verdant Appalachian past, where underground mining at least left the lofty horizon and snug hamlets undisturbed. As the industry decapitated mountains to get at the lucrative coal seams below the surface, it reassured residents that there would be adequate restoration. The resulting tabletops of hedges and grass are derided by residents in nearby hollows. “Lipstick on a corpse,” says Ken Hechler, a tireless environmentalist and public servant in West Virginia.
report of the state inspector of coal mines to the ..
The destruction, shocking to anyone flying across the scarred mountain remains, has now been measured in all three dimensions in a survey by researchers at . It presents a timely reminder of what has been lost to King Coal’s furious bulldozing swaths across the mountains of West Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee and Virginia. Drastic changes to the landscape have left central Appalachian regions in the study’s focus area 40 percent flatter after the bulldozers moved on, reducing elevations at the top while raising them at ground level by up to 10 feet because of the layers of accumulated slag.
As the destructive coal mining process known as mountaintop removal ebbs in Appalachia, it is leaving behind what amounts to its own grim field of tombstones: A grossly disfigured landscape pocked with decapitated mountains standing flat as mesas and inhospitable to forest restoration.