As the Associated Press reported yesterday evening:
A mining protester has ended her treetop sit-in at an Alpha Natural Resources mine on Coal River Mountain and is now charged with trespassing.
Becks Kolins and Catherine-Ann MacDougal climbed into platforms July 20 to protest operations at the Bee Tree surface mine. They’re affiliated with Radical Action for Mountain People’s Survival.
Kolins descended Tuesday. McDougal says she’s staying put.
While the tree-sit continues to demand an end to strip mining on Coal River Mountain, the RAMPS Campaign has organized a meeting today between Alpha Natural Resources senior management and residents of coal-impacted communities at Alpha’s regional headquarters in Madison, W.Va. This meeting is a follow-up to a similar meeting in May, in which local residents’ discussed their concerns with the Massey mining operations that Alpha was poised to acquire. Residents discussed the documented connections between mountaintop removal mining and degraded water quality, flooding, and serious public health impacts. A study published just last week by WVU’s Dr. Michael Hendryx found elevated cancer rates in a survey of Coal River Valley residents, further confirming the allegations of area residents and the two tree sitters. At the meeting, residents requested that Alpha make specific changes to reduce the impacts of the Massey operations that it has inherited, including halting blasting near the Brushy Fork coal slurry impoundment which is located near the Bee Tree permit where the tree-sit is occurring.
The group’s website also includes an account of a recent citizen inspection of the operation.