Grass Roots Environmental Effort Newsletter

July 2000

Join Forces at Annual Meeting

by Donald S. Garvin, Jr., WVEC President

Green is a very busy color these days.

If your ear hasn't been glued to the grapevine, let me tell you just a few of the things green activists are busy doing in West Virginia these days.

All shades of green folks showed up for the recent "Sustainable Fair" at Watters Smith State Park. WVEC was a major sponsor of this now annual event, and thanks to Denise Poole, one of the organizers, it was a tremendous success. I learned a lot from people who are practicing sustainable living and creating sustainable jobs across WV.

OVEC and CAG are making headlines with their PERC research gathering the data that show what interest groups are giving how much money to which politicians and would-be politicians. These folks are leading the charge for campaign finance reform in this state.

Highlands Conservancy members are involved in a variety of new efforts. Judy Rodd and John McFerrin have organized an active coalition to work on getting genuine regulation and on-the-ground enforcement of the timber industry. They've gotten new groups involved - the National Wildlife Federation, the WV Wildlife Federation, the Wilderness Society, and religious organizations.

Highlands also has a newly revitalized public lands committee that is active in national and state forest issues, and has organized "Monathon 2000" which is a series of weekend outings to raise awareness and appreciation for the variety of recreational opportunities in the Monongahela National Forest. And Highlands continues to be the major voice in support of saving Blackwater Canyon.

Of course, Highlands is also continuing the battle against mountaintop removal mining, along with OVEC, Citizens Coal Council, Coal River Mountain Watch, the West Virginia Organizing Project, and others.

OVEC is also working on dioxin and air quality issues. Sierra Club is a leader on air pollution matters, as well as leading the charge for national forest reform (it resurrected Teddy Roosevelt himself to speak at the recent public hearings on the Clinton "roadless" initiative!).

West Virginia Rivers Coalition is increasingly visible on all state water quality issues. It organized the West Virginians for Clean Water coalition, which has served as the voice for Clean Water Act enforcement and implementation in West Virginia. Coalition members are active on the EQB antidegradation stakeholder committee and the DEP TMDL stakeholder committee. WVRC has developed real expertise on water quality issues.

Green folks are doing great things everywhere. The Plateau Action Network is active on green economic issues in Fayetteville. In the eastern panhandle, Clint and Chris Hogbin have a very active group working to save family farms (not to mention all their work on quarrying), and have even begun an area dialogue on zoning and land-use planning (two words rarely heard in the Mountain State!).

My very own Mountaineer Chapter of Trout Unlimited began what we thought would be a simple restoration effort on the headwaters of Shavers Fork River. It has mushroomed, and is now known officially as "Healing the Headwaters," a partnership involving Shavers Fork Coalition, Friends of the Cheat, area businesses, and state and federal agencies. And, of course, Trout Unlimited.

This list is just an overview (please don't feel slighted if I neglected to mention your particular group or activity). There are more green folks doing more green things than I can ever remember in this state.

And that is why the WVEC is so important. It is your vehicle to communicate and coordinate with all the other green folks out there. Aside from the legislative lobby voice that WVEC provides the green community, our most important function is to facilitate communication and coordination among all the groups working for the cause.

WVEC's Annual Meeting is where and when we begin to plan our legislative agenda for the coming year. It is also the best opportunity for each of us to learn what all the rest of us are doing, and how we can help.

I am making a real sacrifice this year and returning from my annual trip to Wyoming early so I can be there (I know you are just very sympathetic with my predicament!).

I hope you will all be there, too. It's time to rededicate and recommit ourselves to the original E-Council purpose of communication, coordination and cooperation. Through your efforts we are all stronger. With your input and involvement we can be a more powerful and effective force for change.

Sustainable Fair Seeks to Conserve WV

by Gary R Zuckett

I didn't know what to expect when Denise Poole, our membership coordinator, asked me to speak at the first ever Sustainable Festival, cosponsored by the E-Council. The first thing I spotted when driving in to the Watters Smith State Park Fair location was this sporty red Honda CRX parked out front with an extension cord plugged into where the gas filler should be. It turned out to be a complete electric conversion by John Williams of Natural Lifeways. John explained his creation to the crowd later in the day. "This car contains 10 12-volt batteries for a total of one kilowatt of power. It's designed as a commuter car and has a fifty-mile range. When you get home from work just plug it in and it's charged the next morning." He compared the energy savings of the conversion by explaining that gasoline motors are only 40% efficient as compared to an electric motor's 90+% rating. John estimated that he recharges his Honda for under $1 in electricity. Quite a savings when gas is pushing $2 a gallon at the pumps. Now, if he can figure out an affordable way to charge it without Allegheny Power's dirty coal power, he'll really have something.

Watching the Honda in action was a little eerie. Turning on the ignition produced no noise but the gentle high-pitched hum of the controller. When stepping on the accelerator the only sound produced was the tires rolling across the pavement. The car was so quiet that it crept up behind me in the parking lot and I almost walked into it when turning around to reenter the conference. Pedestrians beware!

Lifeways' prototype electric car cost $10,000 to retrofit. John Williams concedes it might be done for less but he's pleased with his company's first attempt at electrification. Contact him at 304-269-7902 or natseas@citynet.net

Another first brought me eyeball to eyeball with Annie as she perched on my arm. Annie is a red-tail hawk in the care of the WV Raptor Rehab Center. She was found in the Charleston area and now does outreach work for the Center. Annie reached out and grabbed hold of the leather glove loaned to me by one of the staff, raised herself up to full height (over a foot) and looked me straight in the eye. Her little clucking noises showed me her approval. Boy, was I relieved. I often admire red-tail hawks as they soar and call out to prey with their high-pitched screech. It was a memorable meeting (at least for me). To meet Annie contact the Center at 800-540-6390 or www.wvu.edu/~raptor/index.htm

Besides red cars and red-tail raptors there were lots of well-informed folks attending the fair.

Tom McConnell of the Sustainable Ag. Center of WVU explained the grant opportunities available from SARE, the Sustainable Agriculture Research Center. This is start-up funding for growers using earth-friendly processes to grow high-quality (and good-tasting) products.

Several examples were at hand: mouth-watering meatballs made from beef raised by Headwaters Petite Beef Assoc. with seed funding from SARE. Headwaters produces lean beef from young animals without antibiotics or hormones. Farmers who raise these animals protect the headwaters of the Potomac which run through their farms by fencing off the streams from the animals and letting grass, shrubs and trees grow to filter animal runoff before it enters the water. Sustainability never tasted so good. To order your Headwaters beef, contact the Cacapon Institute at 304-749-7733 or www.cacaponinstitute.org/hpb.htm.

Closer to home, Sandy Creek Farms raises hormone and antibiotic-free cattle near Ravenswood and has a store at the I-79, Rt. 2 exit. They also carry Amish cheeses, free-range chicken, pork and cold cuts. They deliver to the greater Charleston area (including Pinch, Marmet, St. Albans, Hurricane), Parkersburg, Spencer and, of course, Jackson County. Call them at 800-487-2569 for a price list (very reasonable, about supermarket price).

Vegetarians never fear! Up next was a grower named Susan Sauter to explain how she does CSA - Community Supported Agriculture. CSA works like this: Consumers pay up front for a 'subscription' or share in Susan's extensive gardens of beans, corn, lettuce, tomatoes, squash and the like. Then every week for ten weeks she delivers 10 lb. bags of fresh, organically-grown produce to each subscriber. It's a great system. Susan knows how much to plant because she already has the orders. The consumers know they'll be getting great food on a regular basis. "I've had a waiting list ever since I started," she admits, "I really wish more people would do this (grow for subscribers). There is such a demand for good produce. It doesn't take a lot of land. I feed 25 families on one acre." Way to go, Susan! For more info on CSA contact the Community Farm at 231-889-3216 or www.gks.com/TCF/

West Virginia needs more visionary assemblies like these. My hat goes off to the sponsors of the event: WVU Extension sustainable Ag. Center, WV Dept. of Tourism, WV Environmental Council, La Paix Herb Farm, and Natural Lifeways Corp.

I could go on about the great ideas and people assembled for the Sustainable Fair but the best way to find out more is to attend the 2001 event. Contact Denise Poole on participating or attending at 304-346-5905 or dpoole@wvwise.org and watch these pages.

Guarding Government

Traditionally the West Virginia Environmental Council has played the role of bringing together diverse green people and green groups. The idea has been that the environmental community, whenever possible, needed to present a united message to the media, regulators, and the state legislature. Over the years, the WVEC has placed most of its efforts in representing the Green perspective at the annual 60-day legislative session. Our presence at the session is not just trying to pass good bills and expose bad ones. It is also, as Delegate Arley Johnson phrased it at this year's E­Day, "Guarding Government." At its spring meeting, the WVEC Board of Directors decided for the first time to fund a lobby team to monitor the Legislative Interim process.

For 8 months out of the year, the legislature meets for one weekend a month. A variety of joint Interim Senate ­House committees "explore" issues that may some day become legislation. Sometimes these committees really try to flush out the concerns of various groups and other times they are used to steamroll the Leadership's position. Occasionally the interims offer us the opportunity to work on pro-active issues and attempt to develop a consensus among the legislators.

Another aspect of the Interim process is the development of rules and regulations regarding bills passed during the regular session. For example, the Quarry bill passed last spring but the real nuts and bolts of how the new law bill will be enforced are in the rules developed during the interims. Rules are important. Good laws can be neutered by vague or weak rules. Bad laws can be improved by tough rules. Sometimes the direction of an entire policy can be changed by interchanging the words "Shall" or "May."

This interim season there are some big issues that the green community needs to monitor, hence the Board's decision to field the team. Rules will be developed for both the Farmland Preservation Act and the new Quarry law. The whole timber issue and the need for increased regulation will be examined. Testimony of all sides will be taken. Rules dealing with coal, air and water will be proposed. Electric deregulation rules will be presented to the legislature. And there is at least one opportunity for some pro-active work as well.

Senator Brooks McCabe has assembled a small working group to examine land-use planning in our state. The last time WV planning laws were changed, Cecil was in his first term and I was 6. McCabe has asked me to represent the green perspective within the working group. The goal is to pass some much needed but non-controversial changes for next session and to begin to build a real coalition to address the urban sprawl problems over the next several years. It's the kind of strategic planning that this state desperately needs.

It's going to be a busy season for us. Mike Withers will be our voice on the timber issue. Rick Eades will be covering the quarry, water and coal issues. Linda Mallet, Gary Socket, Jim Sconyers and the indefatigable Jim Kotcon will continue their excellent work on electric deregulation. We will be working with the Highlands Conservancy and the WV Rivers Coalition on many of these issues.

Guarding government has its cost. The presence at the interims is not a budgeted item. Therefore we will have to raise the money to pay the expenses of our able team. We're not talking big money here, if you're the Coal Association, but $2,500 is a big item for us. Therefore you'll be getting a special appeal from WVEC President Don Garvin soon to begin the fund-raising. Please help if you can. Not only will we be able to stop some bad stuff, create some good stuff and plan to manage growth in the future, we will be better prepared for the 2001 legislature.

Thanks, Norm Steenstra, WVEC Legislative Director

Intentions & Sustainability

by Denise Poole

While organizing the first Sustainable Fair 2000 with Myra Bonhage-Hale and John Williams, I became fascinated with the concept of "intentions." That's not hard to do when in the presence of Myra, who uses intentions regularly. An intention is a great tool and can be used positively for just about anything. What we intended, of course, was to have a successful, interesting and educational event bringing people together who believe in sustainability and a better future for West Virginia. This year, approximately 100 of these people participated. I just kept thinking about the word intention. Just what are our collective intentions for West Virginia?

Myra, the owner & operator of La Paix Herb Farm, utilizes intentions in many ways. Whether it's a bee who is an unwelcome guest (she calmly walks to the door, opens it and says, "I intend for you to leave." The bee, even though on the other side of the room frantically trying to fly through a closed window, makes its way out the door) or something quite different, intentions help. "I intend to have a safe trip." "I intend to have beautiful weather with no rain until around 3:00." "I intend to handle this situation in a positive way with grace." You get the idea.

I thought a lot about the power of intentions. The difference between the intentions we as environmentalists share (fairness/positive), and why we are so intent on saving the "last of the last" - and the intentions of most politicians, large corporations, traditional industries and the like share (destructive/greedy/negative) and why they are so intent on "taking it all."

I thought about the level of intensity and commitment from everyone. Sponsorship came this year from WVU Agriculture Extension Program, WV Office of Tourism, La Paix Herb Farm, WVEC and Natural Lifeways, Inc. Presentations were made by Pam Nixon (WVDEP), Tom McConnell (WVU Ext.), Rick Eades (WVEC), Gary Zuckett (WV-CAG), Jim Kotcon, Art Digman, Susan Sauter, Sue Cosgrove (MSOGBA), Mark English (Whislin' Wheels) and Natasha Diamond (WVDNR). Participating organizations and individuals included Mountain State Assoc. of Bed & Breakfasts, WV Herb Association, Deanna & Mark English, Aesop's Cafe, OVEC, Melissa Dennison, Robin & Peter Maille, John Lozier, Chuck Wyrostok, Vivian Stockman, Eve Von-Deck, Denise Woodson, Judith Vojik, Dot Henry, Mary Wildfire and Mickalina Zuckett.

There are those among us whose intentions are "business as usual." Who fully intend to continue polluting, blasting, timbering, taking, sprawling, building senseless roads, and receiving huge tax breaks and profits. Who care nothing about land-use planning, green economics, or how to live sustainably at all. Who have no vision for a better future. However.........

We intend to have the Sustainable Fair 2001 next summer. We intend for this event to be about two days with demonstrations, presentations, displays, loads of information, music, overnight accommodations and, of course, great people who understand what sustainable means. If you are involved in an sustainable project, organization, way of living or "green" business please get in touch. If you have the best of intentions for West Virginia's future, let us hear from you!


Improving Air Quality EPA Style

by Jim Kotcon

This month, West Virginia will have to recommend several areas in the state as non-attainment areas for ozone. The bulk of this air pollution is coming from coal-fired power plants. However, auto traffic and urban sprawl contribute their share. (The Morgantown area does not yet have the 3 years of data required to reach a non-attainment designation, but is clearly headed in that direction, based on the first year of monitoring.) These non-attainment areas will need to develop a plan as part of the State Implementation Plan (SIP) to bring their area into attainment. EPA has just released a guidance document (see news item below) to give communities help in developing land- use plans, transportation projects, and "Smart Growth" development that can reduce air emissions and generate "emission reduction credit" that can be reported as part of the SIP to help the area get into attainment. This type of planning requires years of effort to generate results, so early adoption is essential. Enjoy.


EPA Guide: Improving Air Quality Through Smart Growth

WASHINGTON, DC, June 13, 2000 (ENS) - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has put out draft recommendations on land use policies that can improve air quality. The EPA released the draft guidance, "Recognizing the Air Quality Benefits of Local and State Land Use Policies and Projects in the Air Quality Planning Process," on Friday. The document gives guidance to communities to develop "smart growth" strategies for improving air quality.

The EPA says this can be accomplished by accounting for the air quality benefits of land use measures that reduce vehicle miles traveled and pollution from cars and other mobile sources in a state's air quality planning processes.

The guidance supports and recognizes innovation and creativity in land use policies and projects through voluntary measures. Examples include infill development, brownfield redevelopment and development oriented toward public transit projects. The draft guidance proposes options that will allow communities who experience air quality problems to recognize the benefit of developing land use activities. These options could be used to encourage communities to try new strategies that could provide a wealth of benefits in addition to better air quality. EPA is also seeking comment on various methods for assessing and quantifying these benefits.

The agency plans to issue final guidance by this fall. A copy of the draft guidance is available at: www.epa.gov/otaq/traq.

By-Law Amendments

by Jim Kotcon, By-Law Committee Chair

At the June 18 Meeting of the WVEC Board of Directors, the by-law committee proposed and the Board agreed to two minor by-law changes. Under our By-Laws, proposed amendments must be circulated to the membership prior to the annual membership meeting (Sept. at camp weekend), and then approved by the new Board at its next Board meeting. This publication is the official notice of the two proposed amendments:

Amendment # 1. Increase the terms of office for officers from one to two years.

Article V, Section 1, would be amended by deleting the third sentence: "Terms of office will be for one year, except that at its spring meeting the Board may, with the consent of the President and Vice President, elect to extend the terms of Vice President and President for one additional year." This third sentence will be replaced with a new sentence to read: "Terms of office will be for two years."

The effect of this amendment is to extend the term of office for all officers to two years (including "secretary, treasurer, and such other officers as the Board shall determine"). It was felt that this amendment would increase the experience and the stability of the leadership, while still providing for turnover at regular intervals.

Amendment # 2. Reducing the size of the Executive Committee

Article VI, section 2, would be amended by deleting the words "the regional representatives" from the first sentence which would then read: "The Executive Committee shall consist of the officers of the council and any at-large Directors."

The effect of this amendment would be to reduce the size of the Executive Committee from the current 15 members down to 8 members. The Executive Committee acts when a policy decision is needed quickly before a regular Board meeting can be scheduled. It was felt that 15 was too unwieldy for quick action. This amendment does have the effect of de-emphasizing (slightly) the role of regional directors.

Air Permit Handbook Available

by Keri Powell, New York PIRG

The final version of the NYPIRG/EDC Title V Handbook (The Proof is in the Permit: How to Make Sure a Facility in Your Community Gets an Effective Title V Air Pollution Permit) is available on the Web!

The Clean Air Act Title V permit program presents an unprecedented opportunity for the public to get involved in making sure that large air polluters like power plants and factories can be held accountable for Clean Air Act violations. This handbook is a step-by-step guide to public participation in Title V permitting - from finding the polluter to filing a petition with the EPA Administrator.

The handbook is available on two websites:

www.titlev.org: This is NYPIRG's Title V website. It also includes sample petitions to EPA, sample comment letters on NY Title V permits, and other information. Checklists to accompany the handbook as well as tips on how to make the most of a public hearing are available under "related publications."

www.epa.gov/oar/oaqps/permits: EPA's website. Click on "public input." Hard copies may be available from EPA for those who have difficulty downloading the handbook. Contact Candace Carraway at carraway.candace@epa.gov. I will make hard copies at cost for environmental/public interest groups if necessary ($20 plus postage). Email me at kpowell@nypirg.org if you have questions or would like to order a paper copy of the book.

Write Already! All

by Viv Stockman, OVEC

As you know, last October a federal judge ruled that valley fills in certain streams at mountaintop removal operations are illegal. Your letters and calls to Senator Byrd and other political pawns of King Koal were critical in stopping Byrd's legislative maneuvering that would have pummeled the judge's decision and escalated the massacre of our mountains.

Judge Haden's decision is on appeal, but the Clinton/Gore Administration isn't waiting for the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals to make a ruling. Obviously bowing to pressure from coal and other extractive industries, the EPA and the US Army Corps of Engineers have proposed changes to rules in the Clean Water Act. Besides giving the green light to previously illegal massive valley fills at mountaintop removal operations, these changes would allow all types of mines (coal, gold, lead, silver, etc.) and other industries to dump wastes into streams and wetlands nationwide. Once again, we urgently need you, your family and friends to write letters opposing these changes to the Clean Water Act rules.

Please use the letter below to draft your own letter. Comments are due by July 19. If you need more information, e-mail vivian@wvadventures.net or call OVEC staff at 522-0246.

President Bill Clinton and Vice President Al Gore, c/o Thaddeus. J. Rugiel, Office of the Chief of Engineers, ATTN CECW-OR, 20 Massachusetts Ave, Washington, DC 20314-1000


Dear President Clinton,

These comments are in regards to your Administration's proposed revisions to the Clean Water Act definition of "fill material" and "discharge fill material" (65 Fed. Reg. 21292) (April 20, 2000). Please add these comments to the docket for the proposed rule changes. The proposed rule changes violate the intent of the Clean Water Act and will be injurious to both people and the nation's waterways. The changes, if enacted, will substantially increase the dumping of all manner of solid waste into our nation's lakes, rivers, streams and wetlands. As a West Virginian, I am especially concerned that the rule changes will increase mountaintop removal coal mining, which has already wreaked great harm on the state's southern coal field communities and ecosystems.

The rule changes that would eliminate the current exclusion of waste from the existing and long-standing definition of "fill material" must not be enacted. Nor should you enact your proposal to substitute a poorly defined category of "unsuitable fill material" for the waste exclusion, which would be administered by Army Corps of Engineers. This proposal is far too vague to be substituted for the Clean Water Act's current broad waste exclusion.

Your proposed rule changes have the potential to create extensive environmental damage. It is ludicrous to suggest that such changes should NOT be studied with an environmental impact statement. Please do not implement the proposed rules changes.

Respectfully submitted, (Your Name)

Environmental Regulation -Or Hard-Wiring for Complicity

by Rick Eades


The DEP has released the draft quarry rules for review. I received a copy and notice of a June 5 meeting with only 5 days notice, and because of previous commitments (teaching a class on spring water quality and monitoring in Monroe County) could not attend. Hence, I know very little. My recommendation is to call Pam Nixon at (304) 759-0570 for a copy of the rules, which at first glance include nothing about groundwater monitoring.

The new quarry law went into effect June 8, but in their first official act on the law, DEP gave a blanket 6-month extension to all current permittees. That means all provisions of the new law will not be met by any current operator until December 8, 2000 (if then).

On other matters, the Mountaintop Removal (MTR) mining EIS is nearing draft report stage. In a May meeting of hydrogeologists, I was set up to face the best OSM could provide from Pittsburgh, USGS professionals, a Kentucky Geologic Survey PH.D. and at least 15 support professionals. Unknown to them, I had only identified 3 of 6 key points in advance.

After my morning presentation, the agenda was packed with people refuting my 3 concerns noted in advance. They all seem to think that one site where monitoring wells exist in a valley fill will suffice (that site is in Kentucky); blasting studies from the 1980's before the grotesque expansion of MTR will do; that valley fills hold all the water that the now removed mountains used to; and damn the torpedoes - full speed ahead.

During July Interims, Marshall University again presented it's "Great Depression" study of Judge Haden's ruling to the Surface Mining Committee. Dr. Burton stopped just shy of asking for more funding, with only one reference to expanding the study. Simply put, it is disgustingly irresponsible to only study the Haden decision as if it would eliminate all valley fills.

I approached DEP Director Castle and staff from the Corps of Engineers and OSM in October last year about guidance for locating fills in accordance with Haden's ruling. NONE EXISTED - SURPRISE! Now MU gives us this study based on a definition of fills that says their will be no fills. In fact, the "groundwater supplied" intermittent streams delineation could be done from infrared (cold water in the summer, warmer than air in the winter), yet still usable guidance does not exist. Seems to me that DEP, OSM, and the Corps don't want to define valley fills, offer solid guidance, and issue permits. With so many agencies in the same bed, fighting for covers must be getting difficult.

Groups Sue Kiss, Tomblin on Budget Digest

WV-CAG, Common Cause/WV, ACLU and the League of Women Voters joined Delegate Arley Johnson in petitioning the Supreme Court to abolish the Budget Digest process. Former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court Margaret Workman is representing the groups in this important effort toward government reform.

The Budget Digest is that semi-secret process that a few powerful legislators use to divy up millions of dollars of taxpayer money. It has also been used recently as a Legislative leadership tool to cower legislators into voting along with Leadership.

Today the Court voted to hear the case on Oct 3rd.

Glass Houses- A WV-CAG Perspective

by Norm Steenstra

The environmental community has recently been attacked in the media for WVHC's Blackwater ads attacking governor Underwood. WV Citizen Action Group, along with others including the WVEC, has long decried this type of "soft money" ads by special interest groups. Regardless of the actual motivation of the Highlands Conservancy, attacking Governor Underwood in an election year creates an appearance of a larger intent.

I agree with the Conservancy's position that the governor's record on Blackwater is awful. Neither the governor nor any of our representatives in Washington, including Bob Wise, have taken a real leadership position in achieving National Park Status for Blackwater Canyon. All of our elected officials should be challenged to take a leadership position on National Park Status, not just the governor. Singling out the governor in an election year, regardless of how one spins the issue, makes those of us associated with the environmental movement who also advocate campaign finance reform look like hypocrites, particularly since "Blackwater" leadership is actively supporting Underwood's opponent, Bob Wise. "If it looks like a duck, sounds like a duck, etc."

Once again I agree that Cecil Underwood has been terrible on the Blackwater issue. However, these ads have hurt the credibility of groups that are attempting to abolish soft money issue ads. Successful coalition politics require a greater sensitivity to each group's goals than the Conservancy displayed in running those ads.

Editor's Note: This appears to be a controversial issue and GREEN would like to hear from others with different viewpoints...

Support River and Trail Returns Day!

WVRC Newsflash

Sunday, August 6, 2000 will be designated as River & Trail Returns Day. Ten percent of the money River & Trail Outfitters (near Harpers Ferry, W.Va.) makes from its tours, rentals and retail sales that day will be donated to two organizations, West Virginia Rivers Coalition and FLOC (For Love of Children).

Bring friends and family and help River & Trail Outfitters support local rivers and children!

WVRC thanks River & Trail Outfitters for generously sponsoring this benefit. See www.rivertrail.com or call (301) 695-5177 for more information.

Creation's Corner

Welcome to Creation's Corner, a column comprised of readers' submissions. Please share your poems, prayers, reflections and meditations as we progress in our efforts on behalf of the health and restoration of God's Creation.

Feel free to call or write to me at G.R.E.E.N.'s office. There are many resources available for those interested in the spiritual aspects of these efforts, from whatever philosophical or faith perspective, from Buddhist to Christian to Wiccan. A workshop on the spiritual side(s) of our efforts might be of interest in the Fall at our next general meeting.

In the One Light of God's Grace, Mary Ellen O'Farrell, godfrey@citynet.net; 344-3489 (fax)


Haiku in Appalachia

Clinging to clay caught

in mountainside crevices,

bluets finger spring.

Redbud transplanted

dies fast as a man without

memories of mountains.

The lilac tower

of fair Rapunzels

letting down lavender hair.

Lawn-eating chickweed,

ditch-damming silence,

orchids under glass.

Amid chattering

daisies a pregnant silence

offers the rosebud.

But for a sporty

crimson caught, mere purple would be

purple poppies.

Legends of dogwood

cover scars on coal-bleeding



To be or not to be - Parasite or Symbiont

That is the question. ---------anomalous


In the Course of Things

The most likely place to surprise yourself

Is on the path between the 4th green and Number 5 tee,

Halfway around half of your score,

The way well worn by hopefuls and has-beens,

Most of whom are never aware

Of trilliums exposing themselves in late winter,

Audacious snowblossoms even before,

Wild strawberries and blue-eyed grass,

Loosestrife laughing at the whisper of violets,

But most unexpected, awaiting discovery,

Invisible one day and Spirited the next,

Are the mushrooms.


Perfect Answer

It came as a surprise,

A fast catching of my breath,

A fast catching of my brakes

As I drove down the green mountain.


Never again will the wild cherry

Bloom the way it did just then,

And the sun will never set again

At just that perfect angle,

Turning the mass of spring-white blossoms,

Thick with golden light,

Into a miracle,

And I will never need one more.

Green Politics

Denise Giardina, Mountain Party gubernatorial candidate, announced that her petition drive to get on the November ballot has accumulated more than the required number of signatures. With several counties still out, the count is 13,492, well above the needed 12,572 to qualify.

"This is an historic moment. For the first time in West Virginia history, we have a homegrown, grassroots, truly independent party. While the Mountain Party does not officially exist until I receive 1% of the vote in November, there is no question that I will reach well over that goal. It is my hope that the Mountain Party will be a factor in this state for many years to come and will change the political landscape of West Virginia," Denise commented at a recent press conference.

For more information, contact Vince George at 344-2362 or vince@deniseforgov.org or log in to www.deniseforgov.org

In other news, Ralph Nader is working to get on the ballot in WV for his run for president. His campaign pays petitioners 75 cents/name to collect signatures. Contact Mark Lewis at 344-2362 or 303-910-4402, e-mail marcus2000@earthlink.net, or Frank Young at 372-3945 e-mail frankly@mtparty.org

Nader needs the same number of signatures to qualify as Giardina but has only until Aug 1st to collect them. Download the necessary paperwork to petition for Ralph on the WV page of his web site www.votenader.org also check out www.nader2000.org.


WVEC's 12th Annual Convention

September 29 -Oct. 1st, 2001

Appalachian Folk Life Center, Mercer Co. WV

Please register for meals in advance. Saturday lunch is on your own. Saturday Supper will be covered dish, so bring an entree to share!

Name(s) ________________________________________________________________



____Registration ($10 Adult/$5 Student)

____Saturday Breakfast ($5/ea)

____Sunday Breakfast ($5 ea)

____Tent Camping ($7/night/site)

____ Dorm Bunks ($12/night/person, bring linens or sleeping bag)

Total Enclosed: _________

Make checks payable to WVEC and mail to: 1324 Virginia St., E., Charleston, WV 25301