Bo Webb wins $50,000 prize for fight to save his home from mountaintop removal coal mining

November 10, 2010 by Ken Ward Jr.

Photo by Travis Dove/ Copyright Civic Ventures

Raleigh County native Bo Webb has been named among the winners of The Purpose Prize, giving him $50,000 for his w0rk fighting against mountaintop removal coal mining and to improve the lives of kids who attend Marsh Fork Elementary School.

The organization Civic Ventures is announcing today that Webb is among the 2010 winners of the prize, given to entrepreneurs over the age of 60 who are using their experience and passion “to make an extraordinary impact on society’s biggest challenges.” In a news release, the organization described Bo this way:

A former owner of a tool-and-die shop who returned to his native West Virginia for a peaceful retirement, only to find himself fighting a coal industry engaged in the destructive, disruptive practice of mountaintop removal.

Bo was recently profiled by the L.A. Times, and he has spoken in his own words about mountaintop removal many times, most notably in open letters to various government officials and leaders, including Al Gore, President Obama and the late Sen. Robert C. Byrd.

Among other accomplishments, Civic Ventures noted Bo’s huge role in obtaining funding to build a new Marsh Fork Elementary away from Massey’s operations at Sundial and his work to bring leading activists, scientists and others to West Virginia to speak out and protest against mountaintop removal.

We’ll have more on this in tomorrow’s Charleston Gazette … but if you’re wondering what Bo is going to do with the prize, here’s what he told me last week:

I’ve never been paid for the work I do and have never desired any, spent my own money except where [Coal River Mountain Watch] paid for travel. The Purpose Prize will help me continue my mission to end MTR.

I work at this, Ken, because it is such an injustice …



16 Responses to “Bo Webb wins $50,000 prize for fight to save his home from mountaintop removal coal mining”

  1. rhmooney3 says:

    Very well deserved! Thank you Bo.

    Remarks made by Bo Webb on the WV State Capitol grounds, Sunday, August 23, 2009. http://www.youtube.com/rhmooney3#p/u/12/PwmXOoHWvUQ (4:13 minutes)

  2. Deb says:

    Bo has been a warrior in his fight to stop the destructive practice of mountaintop removal. My hats off to you buddy!

  3. pegsou says:

    Bo, thank you for ALL you have done and the progress yet to be made! When my boys look up, they see mountains. And they see you…

  4. Wendy Johnston says:

    So proud to know Bo Webb.

  5. MN says:

    Congratulations, Bo! Keep fighting for us!

  6. B Bailey says:

    I am a Charleston resident. I applaud the work you are doing. The rest of WVians need to stand up and defend our homeland! This is a time when greed and power speak louder than truth. It is time that the people get back our voices. Thank you for reminding WVIans that there is a place for truth at the table, there is a place for what is right. It is time people in WV have sustained outrage about this injustice that has mauled our state for thirty-five years. No more mountain top removal, no more greed, no more exploitation of the beautiful people in our state. Enough is enough. Thank you Bo for the courage to speak truth to words.

  7. Micajah88 says:

    God bless you, Mr. Webb. Our mountains in southern WVa are majestic and grand as well….

  8. LEE WEBB says:

    I AM AN EXTREMELY PROUD BROTHER OF BO WEBB. HE IS A FORMER MARINE, A VIETNAM COMBAT VETERAN, A PATRIOT AND A HERO. HE HAS BEEN FEARLESS AND TIRLESS IN HIS BATTLE AGAINST MOUNTAIN TOP REMOVAL. IT IS AN HONOR TO BE HIS BROTHER AND HIS FRIEND.

    LEE WEBB,
    RENO, NEVADA

  9. Elizabeth says:

    Thank you, Bo, for what you have accomplished in bringing the issue of MTR to the attention of the nation. I admire your example of what one person can accomplish with their passion. You deserve this award.

  10. AmyDawn says:

    Well-deserved Uncle Bo. Your family and friends have always known what an extraordinary man you are. Now, thousands more do. Because of your efforts, there is hope that many more generations will benefit from the beauty and serenity of Southern Appalachia. You’ve made a difference and you should be very proud.

  11. mlevans says:

    Abraham Lincoln once said ” I like to see a man proud of the place which he lives. I like to see a man live so that his place is proud of him.” Bo Webb, we are proud of you. Congratuations, you deserve this award and so much more for your tireless and selfless work to stop MTR.

  12. Vernon says:

    Congratulations Bo. Nobody works harder. We need more folks with even a fraction of your passion.

  13. MichaelS says:

    Congrats Bo, and keep it up. MTR needs stopped.

  14. Dave Rao says:

    With so few role models, it’s wonderful to see we have one of the very best. I’m going to write a song for Bo and sing that every single friend of his…votes. Maybe Earl Ray will appoint him to head the DEP?

  15. april keating says:

    So glad to see somebody standing up and getting results. I wish there were a few more like you. Keep on pushin’, Bo! We’re behind you all the way!

  16. Bob Kincaid says:

    I am eternally grateful to Bo for originally informing me and involving me in this most profound struggle to save our homes, our communities and, indeed future generations from the human rights disaster that is mountaintop removal.

    Bo’s two greatest strengths are his fierce commitment to his community, coupled with his fierce commitment to the facts.

    In short, Bo Webb is what we mean when we say “Mountaineers: Always Free.”

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