Scroll down to view resource sections: regulatory agencies, mountain-top removal explained, organizations fighting MTR, related campaigns, films about mtr, media voices, direct action, and materials for download.

Stand up to Intimidation

Whistleblower Protections

Jury Nullification – Think an activist should be found not guilty because they were doing the right thing? You can do that legally, despite what a judge may tell you. Read more to find out.

The Strip Mining Handbook – The Strip Mining Handbook was written to give citizens in mining areas a fighting chance to protect their homes and communities from the ravages of mining operations by providing them with the tools they need to understand the law and use the often complex provisions of SMCRA to their advantage.

Appalachian Center for the Economy & the Environment – The APP Center is a regional law and policy organization that works together with individual citizens and grassroots citizens’ groups to clarify, analyze and act on the environmental and economic issues that affect our communities. The coal mine permit tracker is a valley fill database.

Appalachian Citizens’ Law Center – a nonprofit law firm that fights for justice by representing coal miners and their families on issues of Black Lung and mine safety. The Center handles individual cases and engages in strategic litigation and policy work in the areas of mine safety and health, environmental protection and sustainable energy.

Regulatory Agencies

MountainTop Removal Explained

I Love Mountains -Your most comprehensive one-stop-shop for everything about mountaintop removal! Watch videos, read blogs (or start your own), research the politics and economics of coal, and find out your local connection to destructive surface mining.

Journey Up Coal River – A fascinating, interactive mapping project that combines music, audio, photography and the written word to tell the story of the Coal River Valley, West Virginia. This information-dense site is probably the best place to get started learning about what’s going on in this part of Appalachia, with much that can be extrapolated and compared to other parts of Appalachia.

Plundering Appalachia: The Tragedy of Mountaintop-Removal Coal Mining -Explains cradle to grave: coals deadly legacy. The book is a searing exposé, in words and images.

Google Earth Appalachian Mountaintop Removal layer-on this global awareness layer, you can watch videos, track your connection to MTR, take a high resolution tour of a mine site, and read first hand stories from folks impacted by MTR.

OVEC Health Studies Log – Lists the studies that have been done on MTR.

Organizations Opposing Mountaintop Removal in Appalachia

Keepers of the Mountains Foundation – The Keeper of the Mountains Foundation aims to educate and inspire people to work for healthier, more sustainable mountain communities and an end to mountaintop removal.

Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition – A nonprofit organization dedicated to the improvement and preservation of the Ohio Valley environment through education, grassroots organizing, coalition building, leadership development, and media outreach.

Southern Appalachian Mountain Stewards – An organization of concerned community members in Virginia and their allies who are working to stop the destruction of local communities by surface coal mining, to improve the quality of life in our area, and to help rebuild sustainable communities

Related Campaigns

Friends of Blair Mountain – Group working on the fight to save Blair Mountain, the site of the largest labor insurrection in U.S. history.

Southwings – SouthWings is a conservation and public benefit aviation non-profit that provides skilled pilots and aerial education to enhance conservation efforts across the Southeast.

Rising Tide North America – Rising Tide is an international, all-volunteer, grassroots network of groups and individuals who organize locally, promote community-based solutions to the climate crisis and take direct action to confront the root causes of climate change.

Beehive Design Collective – The Bees’ graphics campaigns take on a variety of ecological and social issues, which includes the True Cost of Coal poster, about mountaintop removal in Appalachia.

Black Mesa Water Coalition and Black Mesa Indigenous Support – Black Mesa Indigenous Support (BMIS) is a grassroots, all volunteer run collective dedicated to working with and supporting the indigenous peoples of Black Mesa in their Struggle for Life and Land who are targeted by & resisting unjust large-scale coal mining operations and forced relocation policies of the US government.

Indigenous Environmental Network – “A network of Indigenous Peoples empowering Indigenous Nations and communities towards sustainable livelihoods, demanding environmental justice and maintaining the Sacred Fire of our traditions.”

Films about mountaintop removal

Low Coal – Low Coal is an exploration of what it’s like to live with the coal industry. Telling the stories of activists and injured miners, Low Coal makes the case that strong and resilient Appalachian communities are paying a heavy price for the benefits to the region that the coal industry provides.

The Last Mountain -The mining and burning of coal is at the epicenter of America’s struggle to balance its energy needs with environmental concerns. In the Coal River Valley, West Virginia, a small but passionate group of ordinary citizens are trying to stop Big Coal corporations, like Massey Energy, from continuing the devastating practice of Mountain Top Removal.

Coal Country– tells of the dramatic struggle around the use of coal, which provides over half the electricity in America.

ON COAL RIVER – The film follows a former coal miner and his neighbors in a David-and-Goliath struggle for the future of their valley, their children, and life as they know it.

Black Diamonds – The film illustrates in graphic detail the destructive effects of mountaintop removal seen through the eyes of local citizens, as well as national experts. Upon its release in 2006, Black Diamonds was the first comprehensive overview of surface mining.

other related films we recommend: Mine War on Blackberry Creek (streaming free), Matewan

Media Voices

Coal Tattoo – The most up-to-date resource for coal-related media in West Virginia! A blog component of the West Virginia Gazette newspaper. The author frequently shares exciting “insider” info, and therefore has quite a following of addicted readers.

Appalshop Arts & Education Center – A non-profit, multi-disciplinary arts and education center in the heart of Appalachia producing original films, video, theater, music and spoken-word recordings, radio, photography, multimedia, and books. Effectively utilizes various art forms to help preserve Appalachian history and culture.

Earth First! Journal -the voice of the radical environmental movement.

The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press – Created in 1970 when journalists were being forced by the government to break confidentiality agreements, this organization still exists today to offer and support free legal guidance for members of public media.

Direct Action

Ruckus Society Action Planning Manual – A basic introduction to the concepts, organization, and execution of nonviolent direct action (NVDA)

Praxis makes Perfect – a cohesive list of tools and resources for change agents. This is still a work-in-progress

Smart Meme – Center for Story-based Strategy

Read our page about nonviolent civil resistance.

Blogs we Like

The Thougtful Coal Miner – These are the thoughts and chronicles of a former 4th generation Appalachian coal miner trying to figure it out for coal miners across the nation. “Like many I understand the need for good paying jobs, but I don’t believe we should be selling our souls to the coal industry for them.”


Blair Mountain Zine: This introductory zine is about the 1921 Battle of Blair Mountain and contemporary issues surrounding the historic battlefield (including mountaintop removal permits). You can download a version you can read off of your computer, and a version you cant print out and fold.

Poster by Sara Lynch Thomason.

Clean coal is a dirty lie, 11x17 poster

11×17 poster. Suggestion: print on glossy in greyscale, sell for $5 as a fundraiser. Image courtesy of Mountain Justice.