Coal and Water News

Elizabeth Wooten, early KFTC leader, has passed away

June 24, 2015 at 11:43pm

Elizabeth Wooten, a KFTC member who helped lead the campaign in the 1980s to do away with the broad form deed, died on Monday. She was 91.

Elizabeth and her family fought for many years to protect their land from the strip mining that was rampant in Perry County. The book Making History: The First Ten Years of KFTC, included the following description:

On December 3, 1983, dozens of KFTC members rallied near Bulan at the farm of Perry County widow Elizabeth Wooten … to express their opposition to broad form deeds and their resolve to fight as long as necessary to end their abuses. The Wooten farm lay like a near island, almost surrounded by oceans of strip-mined land. The family had been fighting in court for months to keep Marandco Coal, holder of a broad form deed, off the property, where Elizabeth’s husband was buried. “Before my husband died, he asked [the family] not to let them come on here and strip mine,” Wooten said. “And we’re going to honor that promise. What kind of people would we be if we didn’t?”

With Wooten among the movement’s leaders, KFTC members helped passed a law in the 1984 General Assembly that outlawed the abuses of the broad form deed (these were deeds signed in the late 1800s / early 1900s that severed the ownership of the minerals under the land from the ownership of the land itself; in the 1950s the Kentucky courts interpreted these deeds to allow the mineral owner to strip mine the land without the permission of the surface land owner, and with no obligation to compensate for the damages done).

Apply to attend 7-day training with Kentucky Student Environmental Coalition!

May 15, 2015 at 12:59pm

Are you a young person (under 30) interested in building a diverse, powerful, youth-led environmental movement in Kentucky? Or do you know folks who fit that description? If so, check out this awesome opportunity to attend an 7-day intensive leadership development camp hosted by the Kentucky Student Environmental Coalition.

The training program, called Catalyst, will take place July 26-August 2 at the Life Adventure Center in Versailles, Kentucky. Participants will learn skills to launch and sustain effective campaigns for change on their campuses and in their communities. The program will maintain an emphasis on anti-oppression, inclusion, and relationship-building for the long-haul.

Brooklyn sends love to the mountains

April 10, 2015 at 01:50pm

 

KFTC asks for public hearings on Stream Protection rule

March 31, 2015 at 09:46am

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.

March Jefferson County Chapter Meeting reportback

McElroy explains the need for more affordable housing.
March 10, 2015 at 08:18am

Last night's JCKFTC meeting brought out twelve members of the chapter to deliberate, discuss, and take action on affordable housing, an LG&E rate change, the local air quality and economic justice campaigns, and events going on in the social justice world.  Here is a summary of some of the good work the chapter is doing.

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

February 22, 2015 at 05:56pm

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 eastern Kentucky. This action continues citizen action to force Frasure Creek to obey the law and state officials to enforce the law.

KFTC celebrates 10 years of I Love Mountains Day

February 13, 2015 at 02:16pm

“We are here to express our love for Kentucky and our belief in its bright future,” said KFTC Chairperson Dana Beasley Brown as she welcomed the crowd to KFTC’s tenth I Love Mountains Day.

Frigid winds and snow flurries couldn’t compete with New Power as hundreds of people from across Kentucky marched up Capital Avenue and rallied on the capitol steps for a brighter future for Kentucky.

Beasley Brown thanked KFTC members for “your vision, your courage and your persistence” and recognized the many communities across Kentucky who were represented in the crowd.

Northern Kentucky Loves Mountains

February 13, 2015 at 12:00pm

The Saturday following I Love Mountains Day, the Northern Kentucky chapter celebrated their own love for the mountains with Northern Kentucky Loves Mountains. Aimed at raising awareness about issues that impact Kentuckians from the Appalachian region, this event focused on the devastation of mountaintop removal and the need to re-imagine the possibilities in eastern Kentucky.

Westbound: Eastern Kentucky members’ eventful trip to Frankfort

February 12, 2015 at 06:00pm

The trip from the mountains to Frankfort can be difficult, but the KFTC van ride on I Love Mountains Day was one we will tell big tales about for years. Harlan “Tootie” Seals has been driving charter buses and vans for decades and even served a term as mayor of Fleming-Neon. So I was looking forward to an adventure. Little did I know…

It was cold and dark in Whitesburg when we met at 6:00 in the morning. The road to Cumberland that crosses Pine Mountain is difficult. When Tootie’s van crossed the mountain, I figured the rest of the trip  would be downhill, no problem. KFTC friends from Lynch, Benham, and Cumberland met us on the south side of the mountain as the sun was rising. On to Harlan, where the rest of our van riders joined us, then we headed for Frankfort.

Ky. voices: Beware of bad deals offered by oil, gas frackers

January 26, 2015
Lexington Herald-Leader
Madison County

Oil and gas "land men" offering rotten deals to Kentucky landowners, the author explains.

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