America's Most Endangered Mountains - Huckleberry Ridge, KY| 3mins
Director: Appalachian Voices | Producer: Appalachian Voices
Focus Years: 2009 | Country: United States
"We are going to be the endangered species, " said Daymon Morgan, resident of Huckleberry Ridge, Kentucky. Morgan's woods are teeming with bloodroot, as well as golden seal, ginseng and wild ginger. Not too long ago, these native plants grew wild and plentiful not just in Morgan's woods but in the neighboring mountaintops adjoining his property, on the tree-laden slopes that have been part of the majesty of the Appalachian landscape - and integral to the lives of his community - for generations. But now, the mountaintops surrounding Morgan's land are bleeding. More precisely, they are being blown apart with explosives. Mining companies are blasting the tops off the mountains, pursuing a technique that makes it easier and faster and cheaper to remove coal from the earth that holds it. It's an efficient technique: explode the mountain; remove the coal; shove the waste over the nearest hillside; "reclaim" the site; move on to the next site. Morgan's fear isn't just for the streams, or the trees, the deer or the wild turkeys, the ginseng or the bloodroot. It's for his family and friends, their health and safety. And he fears for the welfare of all the rest of us who, let's face it, live downstream. "We are going to be the endangered species," Morgan said, his eyes stubbornly fixed on his visitors, making it clear whom he meant when he said "we." To support Daymon and his community, contact Kentuckians for the Commonwealth at (606) 878-2161 or www.kftc.org. KFTC works with people to organize in their home communities across Kentucky, helping everyday community members become extraordinary community leaders.