Mountaintop removal, a mining practice which removes the tops of mountains to expose coal seams for extraction, causes large-scale environmental destruction, pollution, and public health problems. This mining practice is cheaper and faster than underground mining. It has damaged more than 400 mountains in Appalachia. Because of their love for the mountains and the communities within them, activists such as Larry Gibson and Judy Bond fought tirelessly for healthier and more sustainable mountain communities through organizations such as The Keeper of Mountains Foundation and Coal River Mountain Watch. Although both Gibson and Bond have passed away, these organizations continue to empower local residents to defend the mountains and their communities.
“I fight to save all mountains, and all the people living in them. Because this movement can’t be about just me. It can’t be about just this mountain. It has to be about the people who don’t have a say, like our children and grandchildren.” - Larry Gibson