Chuck Nelson spoke at a house party fundraising event for Keeper of the Mountains Foundation in Staunton, Virginia on the evening of April 18th.
There were 16 people in attendance at the event, which included dinner and drinks with a time for discussion about the issues surrounding Mountain Top Removal mining. Chuck spoke movingly about the effects of Mountaintop Removal on the communities of Appalachia. He told stories of the health problems in his own community in the Coal River Valley as well as the disappearance of whole towns that were once home to many families that had lived there together for generations. He also shared his stories of life as a union miner and his experience as a miner in the employment of Massey Energy the company involved in 1000's of violations of safety rules and environmental regulations.
Chuck also showed a segment of the film "Mountain Mourning" featuring Larry Gibson and the story of Kayford Mountain, home to the Keeper of the Mountains Foundation. Many people were profoundly moved by Chuck's heartfelt stories and by Larry's story and the scenes in the film of the devastation of the mountains by Mountaintop Removal. Everyone left ready to act to help the Keeper of the Mountains in their effort to stop MTR and ready to support their mission to create a sustainable economy and life that honors mountain culture, justice for the people, and respect for the beauty and diversity of these ancient mountains.