Kanawha State Forest Coalition Against Proposed Mining Site

By: Carrie Jones Email
By: Carrie Jones Email

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- For 80 years, Kanawha State Forest has served as a scenic escape for hikers, bikers and horseback riders.

Surrounding the 9,000-acre preserve is a booming coal business. Several mountaintop removal sites have and are still operating around Kanawha State Forest.

Keystone Development has applied for a permit to extend its valley-fill operations to within 300 feet of the forest's border.

Julian Martin, Kanawha State Forest Coalition, says, "We don't want Kanawha State Forest to look like a massive strip mine."

To get the word out on Keystone Development's plan, the Kanawha State Forest Coalition has created a video to highlight the park's history and the influence nearby mining has had on its environment.

"What Kanawha State Forest gives to people, you just can't describe," Martin said. "It's kind of an emotional feeling. I want people to become outraged by Kanawha State Forest being threatened."

Martin realizes the importance of coal to West Virginia. His father, grandfather and -- even his son -- worked in the mines.

"Underground coal mining does not bother me like this does," he says. "I mean, this is total devastation."

The coalition has distributed its video to organizations around the area. If you would like to see the video, you can call Julian Martin at 304-342-8989.

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