Coal River Mountain Watch
Region: Appalachian Region
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Junior Walk has been working with various anti-surface mining organizations in the Appalachian region for the past nine years. He has done everything from lobbying on federal and state levels, gathering data for lawsuits against coal companies, and even getting arrested doing direct action on surface mines and corporate offices. Junior now serves as the outreach coordinator for Coal River Mountain Watch, a role in which he spends his time helping educate people about the effects coal extraction has had on his community. He has also been monitoring for permit violations and documenting ongoing surface mining operations on Coal River Mountain, the last intact mountain in the Coal River watershed.
It’s difficult to know if you’ve made a difference. The most common response I get about my work is, “What’s the point? You’re wasting to your time. They’re going to do what they’re going to do.” The way I look at it, you gotta challenge [these industries]. You can either go down swinging or you can let them continue do what they want and push you out of the way.