“Rise Up! West Virginia” Photos
These are still photographs from the film – my personal
journey through the coalfields of West Virginia. Throughout the trip I kept a diary and drew my own conclusions
from what I saw and heard.
I hope that “Rise Up! West
Virginia” encourages people to learn more and understand that
and the processes used by the coal industry are detrimental
to the health of our people and to the economic future of our
state and our country. B.J.
Gaudineer Scenic Area
near Gaudineer Knob on Shaver’s Mountain in Pocahontas and Randolph
Counties. It contains irgin red
spruce, yellow birch, beech, red maple, sugar maple and other hardwood species.
The 140 acre area
in The Monongahela National Forest was designated as a Registered National
Landmark in 1981 “for its exceptional value as an illustration of the
Nation’s natural heritage and its contribution to a better understanding of
This is one
of my favorite places on earth!
Greenbrier River in Pocahontas County, WV
Photo by Douglas
B. Chadwick, Hillsboro
From here you
can see Spice Run. Across the river looking north is The Calvin W. Price
This was timber
country during the boom. The Spice
Run Lumber Company had an operation here.
Only one house remains on the old town site. Developers and real estate agents have
begun to sell the land for vacation homes.
Congress recently protected this beautiful spot in the Monongahela
National Forest as The Spice Run Wilderness Area. Visit the WV
Wilderness Coalition to learn more.
Kayford Mountain in Boone County, West
removal operation is located 35 miles from our Capital City of
Charleston. The mining operations
are owned by subsidiaries of Arch Coal and Massey Energy – both absentee
If we were turn
our camera around 360 degrees this is what we would see. Thousands of acres of mountains and
forest land blown to bits. Excess
waste (I hate that term – how can our earth’s
soil and vegetation be called WASTE?) is shoved over
the mountainside filling in the valleys and streambeds below.
Donna Branham and Larry Gibson - Mountain
Keepers Music Festival on Kayford June 30, 2007
families gathered at Kayford Mountain to mourn for the land that has been
lost and to celebrate the land that remains.
Donna Branham of
Lenore, WV, is fighting to save her land and her home in Mingo County. She came to ask for support. Over the
objections of many residents and environmental groups, the WVDEP granted a
mountaintop removal permit behind her house the following month.
Country Singer and West Virginia native,
Kathy Mattea, visits Kayford Mountain in July, 2007
The Sierra Club
brought native daughter Kathy Mattea to West Virginia. She flew over mile after mile of what
used to be pristine mountains. She
cried as she viewed the
devastation. More than 100
people came to talk to her and tell their stories.
Kathy Mattea Visits with Coal Field
of Quarrier, WV, sang her original songs to Kathy Mattea during her visit
to Kayford Mountain. Her song, “Why
Oh Why Don’t You Answer” moved us all to tears as her voice floated out
over the crowd.
People like Mrs.
Spurlin are examples of the rich heritage in these Appalachian
Mountains. This heritage is being
threatened as mountaintop removal marches across our state forcing people
to leave their homeland. The
question in my mind always is “Where do they go?”
This page is a work in progress. Please check back often as it continues to grow!