In my latest book “Murder Seen through the Eyes of a Child” the Ferguson family try to defend and protect their land from destructive mining operations.The ugly method of Mountaintop removal was the mining operation they were trying to keep off their land. Growing up and working in the coal fields I saw many surface mining operations. I have downloaded photos of different phases of surface mining operations. These photos can give you an idea what the Ferguson family fought against.
The land starts off in the first photo in its natural majestic beauty. The Ferguson’s property was similar. It was a beautiful section of the Appalachian mountain chain. Bulldozers and drills move in and prepare the land to be blasted. After the blast, huge dragline shovels move in to remove the overburden off the coal. When these huge draglines are finished the mountaintop is gone. It is leveled. Notice how tiny those huge bulldozers appear beside that dragline shovel.
These photos do simulate different phases of the mining process. If parts of the mountain are left behind, the land’s condition looks like the last photo. I am not an anti-coal person. Coal operators can use better mining practices that reclaim and take better care of the beauty of these mountains.
Different organizations, Earth Tribe, Highlands Organization, the NRDC Organization and the Grist files took the photos in this article.