Tree Sit Stops Blasting on Massey Mountaintop Removal Site in the Coal River Valley

Claim your stake in the future, come join the campaign to end mountaintop removal at Climate Ground Zero.


AUDIO UPDATE Lunch Time Update from the Tree Sitters

ACTION UPDATE 2 PM- On the ground support has been arrested, cited for trespassing, and released. The tree sitters are secure.

ACTION UPDATE 4 PM- According to a confidential source, Massey had planned to blow up a knob near the tree sit today. But as long as we are in the trees, we stop Massey from sending yet another silica-laden dust cloud down upon the people of Pettry Bottom as they kill the mountain and watershed. COME ALL YOU TREE SITTERS!

ACTION UPDATE 8:30 PM – The sun is setting on the Coal River Valley and the tree sitters are still up. The tree sitters stopped a blast today. We’ll see what they do tomorrow.

ACTION UPDATE 7:00 AM – The sun is up and so are the tree sitters. Day two of standing in the way of the destruction of Appalachian mountains and communities begins!

Right now, two people are occupying two treetops at the edge of Massey Energy’s Edwight mountaintop removal site above Pettry Bottom and Peachtree in Raleigh County, West Virginia. At 6:30 a.m., concerned citizens unrolled two banners reading “Stop Mountain Top Removal” and “DEP – Don’t Expect Protection” from their treetop platforms. They are perched 80 feet above the ground, within 30 feet of the mine, and within the 300 feet of blasting.

For the full press release and updates, visit Follow the action on twitter here. Initial pictures can be seen here.

Read on for statements from the treetop activists:

“I am sitting in this tree to halt the blasting that endangers the residents of Pettry Bottom and Clays Branch,” Laura Steepleton, a community organizer who has worked extensively to secure protection from blasting above Pettry Bottom.  “The people of Pettry Bottom, Clays Branch are living below a land slide waiting to happen and the only barrier between fallen trees, mud, boulders and water and the Pettry Bottom community is a wooden stake and tarp fence. The DEP  needs to step in and protect its citizens – not Massey Energy – stop the blasting above Petty Bottom, and end mountaintop removal.”

Army veteran and lifelong West Virginian, Zoe Beavers states “I am on this mountain because I believe that every single West Virginian who is proud of being from ‘Almost Heaven’ should take a stand against mountaintop removal.  I am here because DEP officials have failed to stop the blasting.  I am putting my body and reputation on the line to do their job and stop the blasting.  I served in our military so that we can all live in a country that does not exploit and destroy its land and people.”

This is the thirteenth in a series of non-violent direct actions and protests that have brought together Coal River Valley residents, NASA climate scientist James Hansen, students, underground miners, military veterans, concerned citizens and environmentalists from across the nation with the goal of ending mountaintop removal. This is the third protest in two weeks to focus attention on the WV Department of Environmental Protection and their embattled Secretary, Randy Huffman. It also follows days after the leak of DEP biologist Doug Wood’s memo on the scale of environmental degradation caused by mountaintop removal, directly contradicting Huffman’s statements at a senate hearing last June.

4 Responses to “Tree Sit Stops Blasting on Massey Mountaintop Removal Site in the Coal River Valley”

  1. 1 deb Aug 25th, 2009 at 9:48 pm

    Go Laura and Nick!
    DEP- Don’t Expect Protedtion\ so true here in WVa

  2. 2 GOD Aug 26th, 2009 at 6:10 am

    Lay not a hand on my Children, for they are in the trees to protect my creation.

    Luke 18:16-17, TLB. “Then Jesus called the children over to Him and said to the disciples, ‘Let the little children come to me! Never send them away! For the Kingdom of God belongs to men who have hearts as trusting as these little children’s. And anyone who doesn’t have their kind of faith will never get within the Kingdom’s gates.”

  3. 3 Janet Aug 31st, 2009 at 5:23 pm

    You guys are the greatest! You are doing what you live. You do what many of us believe in; we live a different life.

  1. 1 Environmental News Featured More Often in Progressive Media « FUTURISM NOW Trackback on Sep 1st, 2009 at 5:26 pm
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About Andrew

Andrew works for the Student Environmental Action Coalition's as administrative coordinator. As a student, he organized for the Michigan Student Sustainability Coalition. There are not many things he loves more than movement building.

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