Modern strip mining has devastated some of our nation’s most beautiful landscapes. In West Virginia, a destructive strip mining process called mountaintop removal has already ravaged the Appalachians. Coal companies are blowing up entire mountain tops to get to thin beds of coal underneath. Nearly 500 mountain peaks have been leveled through this process, which has also cleared away miles of forest and polluted waterways.
Country music singer Big Kenny stands at the edge of a mountaintop removal site. Photo By Rob Perks/Courtesy NRDC.
Activists such as Julia Bonds of West Virginia have been fighting the mining practices for years. Now, the Natural Resources Defense Council has teamed up with some of the Appalachian Mountains’ biggest supporters—country, bluegrass and folk singers—to bring much-needed attention and resources to the issue. On May 19, the musicians will come together for a one-night fundraising concert to end mountaintop removal coal mining. Music Saves Mountains will feature Dave Matthews, Emmylou Harris, Patty Griffin, Buddy Miller, Patty Loveless, Kathy Mattea and others. The concert will take place at Nashville’s historic Ryman Auditorium on May 19 at 8:00 p.m.