Chapter: Letcher County

As Letcher County KFTC members, we’re working for a healthy, sustainable community – where people have access to living wage jobs and affordable health care, educational opportunities, clean air and safe water. We believe we accomplish this vision by being active participants in our local and state government, and by organizing with our neighbors, friends and community.

Letcher County is KFTC’s longest continuous chapter. Over the last three decades, we’ve helped lead campaigns to end the abuses of the broad form deed and require wealthy mineral owners to pay their share of local property taxes. We continue to fight for clean water and to preserve our special heritage, which includes ending the destruction of our land and forests. We want our children to believe that their future is here and not somewhere else.

We love using art and music in our efforts, and working with other groups who share our vision. People of all ages and backgrounds are welcome, and we’d be excited if you’d join us.

Recent Activities

Letcher Countians speak out against proposed federal prison

Last year, Congress approved funding for a new maximum security federal prison in Letcher County – the only new federal prison in the nation. The estimated preliminary cost of construction is $460 -$510 million. Rep. Hal Rogers has touted the prison as the main economic engine in eastern Kentucky. 

In Letcher County, we have so much potential, and with the right investments could create local economic engines that serve our land and our people. The Letcher County KFTC Chapter does not believe that this prison offers the economic development that Letcher County deserves.

Local residents are joining together to voice concerns about the prison. Chapter members have formed a work team to participate and to highlight alternative economic drivers that would support a just transition for our region.

On April 1, the U.S. Bureau of Prisons (BOP) announced that it was forced to re-open a public comment period for the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) on the prison in Letcher County after facing multiple shortcomings, including violations of public notice requirements, in its "Final EIS" released last July. A 30-day window is now open on a Revised Final EIS.

Mitch Whitaker, a local resident, recently had an op-ed published in the Lexington Herald-Leader about his concerns. Check it out, below, and keep on the lookout for more.

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Federal grants support economic transition efforts for eastern Kentucky

KFTC members are applauding the Obama administration’s commitment to a just economic transition for eastern Kentucky through the investments in people and communities reflected in several

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Members ask for strong protections for streams affected by mining

Members of KFTC, the Sierra Club, Kentucky Waterways Alliance, Appalachian Citizens Law Center, Kentucky Conservation Committee, Appalachian Voices, Kentucky Resources Council and others had a strong presence at a public hearing September 3 to advocate for the strongest possible protections for water in communities where coal is mined and downstream.

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KFTC asks for public hearings on Stream Protection rule

KFTC has asked the U.S. Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement for a series of public hearings in eastern Kentucky concerning that agency’s plans to propose a new Stream Protection Rule.

The letter, sent to Robert Evans, director of OSM’s Lexington office, asks for a “formal public hearing and public education event as part of the rule outreach strategy.

“In order to assure the best participation by impacted citizens, we request that the hearing be held in the evening if possible. We also suggest that the public education outreach occur before the actual hearing so that citizens will be better informed as to the actual contents of the proposed rule,” stated the letter from Joanne Golden Hill and Mary Love, co-chairs of KFTC’s Land Reform Committee.

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Citizens groups seek to ensure Kentucky officials enforce Clean Water Act (again!)

KFTC and several ally groups late Friday filed a motion to intervene in a state enforcement action against Frasure Creek Mining for violating the Clean Water Act at its coal mining operations in e

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Chapter Feature:

Celebrating our work!

EKY Holiday Party


Click to view some 2012 highlights!

Regular Meetings:

Our monthly chapter meeting is the second Tuesday of every month at 6 p.m. 

We rotate the locations so be sure to check the calendar.

Everyone is welcome to come and bring friends!

Chapter Organizer:

Sara Estep
Whitesburg, KY 41858
606-632-0051

Upcoming Events:

May 7

We Are Kentuckians: Tools for Building Racial Justice in the Mountains

157 Bulldog Lane
Hazard, KY 41701

Are you interested in the issue of racial justice but not sure how to talk about it with your friends, family members, co-workers?

June 7

Letcher County Chapter Meeting

220 East Main
Whitesburg, KY 41858

This is the Annual Letcher County Chapter Meeting