My Most Recent QSO's

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

MTR Mining in the Back Yard

S300609 VS KANAWHA STATE FOREST from Mike Youngren on Vimeo.

West Virginia is one of the leaders in coal production for the entire world. Most of the coal used in the northern "big cities" comes from my home state. I hope all you guys "up north" (and the world) appreciate that fact during these especially cold winter days right now.

In West Virginia, we're "coal people" and it provides the tax base for our economy. We don't mind a little "dust" settling on our homes and our cars. We eat and breathe coal dust everyday. Despite the damage it does to our "quality of life", we tolerate it because it's an important national product. As the world exists now, coal is the lifeblood of our energy demands.

But where do you draw the "line in the sand" when it comes to your "quality of life"?

One of the sanctuaries near my home city is Kanawha State Forest. I go there to "re-charge my batteries" so to speak. But for the last several years (many times) I've heard "thunder" on a "bright sunny day" as I hike it's woods. The "thunder" is either the reverberation of giant boulders plummeting into the beds of gigantic "off highway trucks" or the "explosions" from "Mountain Top Removal" operations. The last time I found myself on the border of the forest, I could almost "feel" an explosion from nearly three miles away.

It's going to get much worse now.

I draw the "line in the sand" when mining operations destroy my "personal space" and this new "MTR" site is right in my back yard. As the crow flies, this site is just over the next hill. The sounds of machinery and dynamite blasts will destroy this forest and damage our small streams if it is allowed to proceed. It's that simple.......

Many of you will wonder what this entry has to do with radio. My hiking days here (and a good radio spot for a QRP operator) will cease if this new mine is allowed to open 300 feet from the forest boundary. I could use headphones to drown out the noise from this proposed new mine but it just wouldn't be the same place. I go there because it's a "quiet place" near the busy city.

As I mentioned before, we're coal people. I support "deep mining". But I don't think I'd call these people "coal miners". I consider MTR people as nothing more than "overpaid heavy equipment operators". They're incredibly destructive to the environment as they "push the excess fill into the valleys and streams". A dozen men can operate a mine like this one. They employ very few people.

I hope you take a few moments to view the video at the top of this page. It's done professionally and I know most of the people in the film. I consider them "good friends" whom I'll join in the defense of our beloved small preserve near home.

If you're inclined to be part of the solution to this problem, instead of being part of the problem, please contact our representatives listed at the end of the film. I'll be writing them myself very soon.


Dick said...

John, I genuinely wish you and your fellow concerned neighbors all the success in the world!

But, we have to begin taking action, at least taking notice of such things, before problems as yours, end up in our own back yards.

Someone else's back yard today, ours tomorrow,

Again good luck and fight the good fight.

72/73 Dick

Jspiker said...

Hello Dick,

I've started my campaign of writing letters to our state representatives and MOST importantly, the local press and environmental groups. I also live just down the block from the state capitol. It gives me easy access to several politicians.

This is a BIG issue here in Charleston as there are thousands of forest users in this county. It's going to be a big battle I'm for sure...I'll try to keep you posted on the progress.

Thanks for your concern and best wishes. Hope we can talk when you return to New York.

Unknown said...

John, an unrelated question, but do you participate in any of the Adventure Radio Society events? I am not a member nor have I participated (yet) but it looks intriguing.

Jspiker said...

Hello Phil,

I'm not a big contester because my rig doesn't have good filtering. A big contest to me sounds like swarm of angry bees....but at times I do take the time to give out a few WV contacts.

The ARS has made some changes to their webpage and I haven't kept up with them but they're a great group well worth the time and effort to participate in their contests.

Jump right in any of those contests and get your feet wet. What rig and antenna do you use?

Unknown said...

The only QRP rig I have now is the HW-8, but would like to get something else soon. I haven't put my antennas up yet since moving, but my stationary antennas are typically 3 el beam for 10,15, & 20, wire antennas for the rest of HF bands.

72, Phil - K4NE