Blair Mountain

Many of you may be familiar with Blair Mountain, a deeply historic and critically endangered mountain in West Virginia. Below is a short video about the current situation.

The state of WV is trying to de-list a public road right through the heart of the Blair Mountain battlefield. This would leave a large swath of the historic mountain in Coal Company hands, making any attempt at archaeological study or documentation extremely difficult. If this bothers you, please forward this email, and call or write the commissioner of WV highways. His information is below, and at the bottom of this email are talking/writing points from the Friends of Blair Mountain.

Paul A. Mattox, Jr (304)558-0444 dot.secretary@wv.gov

Mailing address-
Commissioner, West Virginia Division of Highways
Capitol Complex Building 5
1900 Kanawha Boulevard East
West Virginia 25305-0430

County RT 119/7 is a crucial stretch of state road for monitoring the condition of the site of the largest labor uprising in American history. Allowing this road to fall into company hands would be a major blow to the effort to save Blair mountain.

Below is from the Friends of Blair

Points you can include in your letter:

- County Route 119/7 should remain in the hands of the public, especially
since it is within the proposed boundary of battlefield that is eligible
for listing on the National Register of Historic Places. The listing to
the NRHP is currently is being sought, and the state should not abandon
this road while the process is ongoing.

- Abandonment would cut off any public access to the site, and would place
the southern end of the battlefield wholly in private hands.

- As of now, the state of WV does not spend any money whatsoever on
maintaining the road. It does not cost the state anything, but has the
potential to generate funds in the future.

- Alternative proposals for County Route 119/7 that could benefit the
public over the long term should be considered. The road could serve as an
interpretive hiking trail that showcases the history of miners’ struggles
and the battle itself. There are many more possible usages and development
ideas for the battlefield in which the road would play a central part, and
these alternatives could generate long-term employment and public money.

- The Blair Mountain battlefield is a unique place for both West Virginian
and American history. Archaeological research shows the material remains
of the battle have a high degree of integrity, and much research needs to
be done to better understand the battle. To hand over a crucial part of
this battlefield to corporate interests would have negative ramifications
for the preservation of this national treasure for future generations.

For more information, contact:
Dr. Harvard Ayers Harvard@boone.net
Kenneth King hillboy23@suddenlink.net
Brandon Nida nida13@berkeley.edu

For information about Blair Mountain and the NRHP campaign:

http://www.friendsofblairmountain.org/

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