Mountaintop Removal Is Burying Bears Alive! – Take Action Now

During the last two decades, mountaintop removal mining in Appalachia has destroyed or severely damaged more than a million acres of forest and buried nearly 2,000 miles of streams.

What is mountain top removal (MTR)? Here’s how it works:

1. Forests are clear-cut, destroying vegetation and wildlife habitat. Next, explosives up to 100 times as strong as ones that tore open the Oklahoma City Federal building blast up to 800 feet off mountaintops.

2.  Huge shovels dig into the soil and trucks haul it away or push it into adjacent valleys.

3. A dragline dips into the rock to expose the coal – machines weigh up to 8 million pounds, and are as tall as a 20-story building. They allow coal companies to hire fewer workers.

4. Giant machines scoop out the layers of coal, dumping millions of tons of “overburden” into narrow adjacent valleys, and filling them up.

5. Coal companies are supposed to reclaim the land, but often mine sites are left stripped and bare.

Bulldozer Traps Mother Bear And Cubs Inside Den

And now, in addition to all the horrific destruction of mountain tops, we are learning of  bulldozers blazing right over the entrance of a bear’s den and burying a mother bear and her cubs alive.

From The National Wildlife Federation:

In the place of expansive, untouched landscape, you now see a barren wasteland. You can hear the desperate cries of a mother bear who knows that she and her cubs are doomed.

This heartbreaking account came from a woodsman who witnessed the tragic bulldozing in his own backyard. It exemplifies the reality for black bears in the Appalachian mountains.

Peer-reviewed studies show that mountaintop mining has serious environmental impacts, including loss of biodiversity, that mitigation practices cannot successfully address.  There are also adverse human health impacts which result from contact with affected streams or exposure to airborne toxins and dust.

Now it’s clear the effects are even worse than we imagined. In addition to hurting bears, the bulldozing and explosions involved in MTR destroy flying squirrel, salamander, mussel and other native animal habitats.

MTR Is A Destructive And Unsustainable Practice, For The Benefit Of Corporations

MTR is a destructive and unsustainable practice that benefits a small number of corporations at the expense of local communities and the environment. There is the physical alteration of the landscape, the damage done to the environment by massive transport trucks, and the environmental damage done by the burning of coal for power.

Blasting at MTR sites also expels dust and fly-rock into the air, which can disturb or settle onto private property nearby. This dust may contain sulfur compounds, which corrodes structures and is a health hazard.

Take Action Now!

With wildlife being destroyed as a result of MTR, please sign our petition to convince Congress to ban MTR and to enforce legal requirements for coal mining in Appalachia.

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Photo Credit: istock


Christinaalex Nicki
.5 years ago


Kayleigh Harter
Kayleigh Harter5 years ago

Wish I'd known about the petition earlier; it's closed now.

Genoveva M.
Genoveva M5 years ago

Petition signed.
Thanks for the article.

Rosemary G.
Rosemary G5 years ago

Stewart S if we continue the trend, there will be no animals left on this planet including us.
In the enormous and varied ecologic chain, every link is vital to its survival.The only element that is absolutely not necessary and yet the most dangerous and destructive, is the Human animal! And you think that a supreme intelligent entity created this perverted animal? I don't think so..This to me is the best proof there is no man created God! We put money and all our efforts to build Cathedrals to a fictitious God and at the same time exploit millions of humans and kill the womb of Mother Earth who sustains us....Happy Mother's day!

stewart s.
stewart s5 years ago

What the human race is doing to Mother Earth and all of Her inhabitants is so wrong and evil!! Sometimes I get so depressed over all of the abuse, torture, pain, and killing of all of God's creatures for human greed, that I think the only way for all this suffering to end is for a human apocolypse to happen, with the all the animals inheriting the Earth.

stewart s.
stewart s5 years ago

Anyone involved in this ongoing environmental atrocity should die and burn in HELL!!

Stephanie Reap
Stephanie Reap5 years ago

petition now closed :(

Carlene V.
Carlene V5 years ago

Sorry, petition is closed and I could not sign.

Jeaneen Andretta
Past Member 5 years ago

The people burying these magnificent creatures alive should get the same treatment.

Liz C.
Liz C5 years ago

"Almost heaven, West Virginia" .... These words resonated throughout our consciousness so completely that they cemented Denver's place in music, indeed, American history. Now that much of West Virginia is a wasteland due to mountain top removal, it's not just the natural beauty and inspiration it evokes that is lost, nor the culture and dignity of the families that lived there for generations. The coal from entire mountains is now gone, burned away, and with it the previous endlessly recurring natural resources of fish and wildlife, of living streams and clean water and the futures of many WV families. It forever amazes me that we would trade endlessly valuable resources for short term ones that leave nothing in their place, that impoverish everyone for foreseeable generations with the only exception that a few families become wildly rich. Mountain top removal methods were not necessary to deliver coal energy. It could have been done in ways that did not devastate the West Virginia environment. We could have had both, but greed dictated devastation. It shouldn't have been.