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Historical Background on Mountaintop Removal

Dispatches from the Coalfield Frontlines

This website is an informal archival collection of the coalfield writings of author and journalist Jeff Biggers.  His work extensively covered the movements to end mountaintop removal mining, and the cultural and environmental legacies of strip mining in Appalachia for Salon, The Nation, Huffington Post, Washington Post, National Public Radio, CNN and other media outlets. In 2010, Biggers chronicled the history of coal mining–and the loss of his family’s historic homeplace to a strip mine in the Shawnee forest of southern Illinois–in his book, Reckoning at Eagle Creek: The Secret Legacy of Coal in the Heartland.  In 2001, Biggers filed a story for Public Radio International on Eagle Creek, strip mining and mountaintop removal mining; in 2004, he co-edited No Lonesome Road: Selected Prose and Poems of Don West, which included an essay on strip mining in Appalachia.  In 2006, Biggers published The United States of Appalachia, a cultural history of the region and dedicated a chapter to the impact of mountaintop removal.  Biggers has been the recipient of the David Brower Award for Environmental Reporting, a Delta Award for Literature, and the American Book Award, among other honors.

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