Chapter: Letcher County

As Letcher County KFTC members, we’re working for a healthy, sustainable community – where people have access to living wage jobs and affordable health care, educational opportunities, clean air and safe water. We believe we accomplish this vision by being active participants in our local and state government, and by organizing with our neighbors, friends and community.

Letcher County is KFTC’s longest continuous chapter. Over the last three decades, we’ve helped lead campaigns to end the abuses of the broad form deed and require wealthy mineral owners to pay their share of local property taxes. We continue to fight for clean water and to preserve our special heritage, which includes ending the destruction of our land and forests. We want our children to believe that their future is here and not somewhere else.

We love using art and music in our efforts, and working with other groups who share our vision. People of all ages and backgrounds are welcome, and we’d be excited if you’d join us.

Recent Activities

Groups challenge EPA decision allowing Kentucky officials to gut clean water protection

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

On Friday, community and environmental groups took legal action against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for a recent decision allowing Kentucky to weaken its water quality standards for selenium, a pollutant common to mountaintop removal coal mines.

"KFTC and our allies have worked for years to make EPA fully aware of the systemic failures of Kentucky’s Energy and Environment Cabinet to protect our commonwealth’s people, waters and environment,” said Doug Doerrfeld, a member of KFTC’s litigation team. “In light of this history it is disgraceful that EPA would approve a weakened selenium standard that will not only leave aquatic life at risk but will make citizen enforcement all but impossible."

3 comments view comments

KFTC members speak up for just transition at SOAR Summit

The conversation about economic transition in eastern Kentucky and Appalachia got a big boost on Monday as more than 1,500 people gathered in Pikeville for the SOAR Summit. Dozens of KFTC members participated, sounding the drumbeat for a just transition in the mountains and distributing ideas and literature with specific suggestions on the principles, process and policies that should guide that transition.

SOAR stands for Shaping Our Appalachian Region, a regional planning process announced in October by Governor Steve Beshear and U.S. Rep. Hal Rogers. The summit on December 9 in Pikeville was the first step in that process.

But KFTC members have been talking about a just transition for years.

1 comment view comments

Eastern Kentucky women lead reproductive health project

In the summer of 2009 a group of young women in Letcher County sat down with Gabriela Alcalde, then director of the Kentucky Health Justice Network, to talk about reproductive health experiences they had growing up and living in east Kentucky. Conversation ranged from the limited sex education offered in school to lack of information and access to reproductive health options to concerns about confidentiality and privacy when visiting local health care providers.  

From that discussion came the East Kentucky Reproductive Health Project, originally a collaboration between Appalshop’s Community Media Initiative and Appalachian Media Institute and the Kentucky Health Justice Network. EKRHP uses peer-produced media and community outreach to give voice and visibility to the reproductive health experiences, concerns and needs of women, especially young women, in Appalachian Kentucky. Short videos on a wide range of reproductive health topics created by AMI Correspondents (young woman trained through EKRHP) are posted on www.ekrhp.org along with discussion guides, detailed information on our bodies, and an extensive listing of resources regionally and nationally. EKRHP also has an active Facebook page. Like us!

0 comments view comments

KFTC offers principles and policies for shaping eastern Kentucky’s future

Hopeful about the future, some eastern Kentucky residents have offered suggestions for principles, process and policies to guide future development in the region.

Offered in an open letter to Gov. Steve Beshear and U.S. Rep Hal Rogers, the KFTC members acknowledged, “It won’t be easy, but we believe we can build a bright future here in the mountains.

1 comment view comments

Unsafe roads: another of the True Costs of Coal

A state highway is getting cleaned up this week after a KFTC member got tired of waiting for the coal company to clean up its messes, and for any state mining official to force them to do so.

A portion of Route 7 in the Deane community in Letcher County was covered with muck last week, tracked onto the highway by coal trucks running from a strip mine to a nearby tipple.

The muck – a combination of mud from the mining operation combined with coal dust turned to sludge – was so bad in spots that the yellow center line could not been seen.

“I hit my brakes and it was like black ice,” said KFTC member Chris Yonts who lives in the area. “There was a good inch and a half packed on the road. I’d never seen mud that slick. I’m afraid someone is going to get hurt. I don’t see how they get away with it.”

1 comment view comments

Page

Chapter Feature:

Celebrating our work!

EKY Holiday Party


Click to view some 2012 highlights!

Regular Meetings:

Our monthly chapter meeting is the second Tuesday of every month at 6 p.m. 

We rotate the locations so be sure to check the calendar.

Everyone is welcome to come and bring friends!

Chapter Organizer:

Sara Estep
Whitesburg, KY 41858
606-632-0051

Upcoming Events:

June 6

Letcher County Annual Chapter Meeting

KY

Letcher County Annual Chapter Meeting. Join in!