Chapter: Big Sandy

If you want to find new ways to strengthen the economy, hold elected officials accountable, and be a part of a great community of folks, then we invite you to join the Big Sandy Chapter of KFTC. The Big Sandy chapter includes Floyd, Pike, Johnson, Martin, and Magoffin counties.

Our members have a vision for the Big Sandy area where the economy, democracy, people and land are healthy. To bring about this vision, we organize an annual day of workshops around sustainable agriculture, forestry, efficiency and renewable energy solutions called Growing Appalachia and offer mini-workshops throughout the year. We are also involved in protecting our land and water resources by raising awareness about water quality in Eastern Kentucky. We also work to educate the community on issues of economic justice and voter empowerment.

We hope you will join us at our next chapter meeting and share some of your ideas on how we can work together to bring about our vision of a healthier Kentucky!

Recent Activities

Great resources and videos from Appalachia's Bright Future conference now online

The Appalachia’s Bright Future conference, held in Harlan, KY April 19-22, brought together more than 200 people for conversations about shaping a just transition in eastern Kentucky and Central Appalachia.

Appalachia's Bright Future

KFTC is pleased to now make available a large number of videos, presentations, notes, media coverage about the event, suggested next steps, and other documents that were shared or created during the weekend.

The collected information can be found here.

We appreciate all of the speakers, workshop presenters, artists and conference participants who shared stories and provided important information and perspectives. Even a brief review of the conference web pages makes it clear that this was a pretty extraordinary gathering and conversation.

As KFTC chairperson Sue Tallichet said during her opening remarks, “…it is difficult to envision more than a coal-based economy in our region. But I believe we have the opportunity, today, to build a diverse and healthy economy here in the mountains. Eastern Kentucky has many assets. We have a rich culture, an abundance of natural resources, and innovative, serious-minded, hard working people. Those things give us a foundation on which we can build.”

Justin Maxson, president of the Mountain Association for Community Economic Development, underscored the point. “…if you take anything away from what I say here today, I hope it is this: We know a lot more than we think we know. We have many more assets to build from than we often believe. And despite our many challenges, including rapid changes to our local and regional economy, there are innovative people providing hopeful examples all around us. What we need now is to knit these pieces together with a vision for Appalachian renewal and help grow them to scale.”

KFTC members and many of our allies in the region are spending time this month reflecting on the conference and developing key next steps. We encourage all KFTC members to bring your ideas and questions to the next chapter meeting in your area. You may also leave comments and questions on the conference web pages. And conference participants are invited to join a phone call on May 30th to discuss ways forward.

Together we can build Appalachia’s Bright Future.

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Review of research adds support for moratorium on mountaintop removal

Two media events Tuesday helped focus attention on the Appalachian Community Health Emergency Act, legislation in Congress that would place an immediate moratorium on new permits while the health impacts of mountaintop removal mining are studied.

Known as the ACHE Act, H.R. 526 was introduced earlier this year by Reps. John Yarmuth of Kentucky and Louise Slaughter of New York, who was born in Harlan County, Kentucky.

“I’ve talked to citizens in the area – towns were 25 percent of the people suffer from some kind of disease, way beyond the national average,” said Yarmuth in an afternoon Congressional briefing. “I’ve talked with teachers whose students color creeks orange.

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Bev May visits Berea College, receives Service Award

This past Thursday, long-time KFTC member and community advocate Beverly May visited Berea College to receive the Berea College Service Award, an honor conferred to those deemed by the college to

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Appeals Court agrees: permit used to bury streams with mining wastes not valid

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit today invalidated the 2007 version of the nationwide permit used by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to authorize the dumping of coal mining wastes into hundreds of miles of Appalachian headwater streams.

The Corps had justified the using the National Permit (NWP 21) based on the "irrational" claim that burying streams with toxic mining wastes had no significant environmental impact.

“I’m thrilled they overturned this decision; it’s a victory for people in eastern Kentucky," said KFTC member Rick Handshoe, a party in the case whose family land in Floyd County is surrounded by mining. "People who live in eastern Kentucky deal with both the immediate and long-term cumulative impacts of mining everyday. Even when the mining is stopped and the coal company is long gone, we deal with the poisoned water and devastated land for decades afterwards.”

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Beshear administration still pushing weakened water quality standard for selenium

Spinal deformities in fish resulting from selenium exposure. Photo: Wake Forest University.

On Tuesday, a legislative subcommittee will consider again a proposal from Kentucky’s Division of Water to significantly weaken the water quality standard for selenium pollution.

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Chapter Feature:

Growing Appalachia

Growing Appalachia
 
Growing Appalachia is a day of workshops about small-scale farming, energy efficiency, and renewables. We hope to provide promising, sustainable ideas people can use to save/earn money or even start a small business! This conference open to anyone looking to broaden their skills. Learn more about the 2015 conference here.

Regular Meetings:

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Prestonsburg Office
152 North Lake Drive
United States
Prestonsburg, KY 41653
Monthly chapter meeting

Join us on the 1st Tuesday of every other month at 6pm for the Big Sandy chapter meeting. (Check the KFTC calendar for most up to date meeting locations.)

Chapter meetings are a great time to plan local work, discuss local and state-wide work, meet new people, and much more. Everyone is welcome and invited to attend! Hope to see you there!

Chapter Organizer:

Jessie Skaggs
152 North Lake Drive
Prestonsburg, KY 41653
606-263-4982

Upcoming Events:

June 6

Big Sandy Annual Chapter Meeting

152 North Lake Drive
Prestonsburg, KY 41653

Join us for the Big Sandy Annual Chapter Meeting. We will be electing new leaders, celebrating work and victories over the past year, and more!