I arrived a few days early to headquarters in Marmet, WV with an overly large pack that threatened to topple me over with one slightly unbalanced step. A sleeping bag, multiple changes of clothes, a bottle of Listerine, and ample bug spray would have to last me through the long and arduous journey of marching 50 miles along highways careening through the West Virginian Appalachians.
Over the next week, hundreds walked along the path of the original 1921 miners who rose up against the tyrannous coal companies in an attempt to unionize. In the 2011 March on Blair Mountain, community leaders, union members, and conservationists rallied to save the historical labor icon of Blair Mountain, sentenced for destruction via mountaintop removal mining (MTR). We marched to protest against MTR and to advocate for safer working conditions and sustainable jobs for West Virginians, whose economy and proud natural landscape have been eroded by greedy coal barons.
On January 17, 1961, Canadian Prime Minister John Diefenbaker and United States President Dwight Eisenhower signed the Columbia River Treaty.
It was a landmark agreement that required...