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Sun Sep 9, 2012, 09:46 PM

West Virginia mountaintop removal mining opponent dies

Source: Courier-Journal (Kentucky)

One of the most steadfast opponents of mountaintop removal mining apparently died today, according to a variety of posts on the Internet. I’ve not yet seen any mainstream media conform the report, Lauren McGrath, with the Sierra Club, posted:

One of my biggest hero’s just passed today. He’d dedicated his life and put just about everything he had in working to end to mountaintop removal and ensure a clean energy transition in Appalachia. Larry Gibson you’ll be missed dearly – and have inspired thousands to carry on the movement.

He was deeply involved in the Keeper of the Mountain Foundation.

Gibson, whose family land was once the low spot but is now the high spot, fought to protect that land and a family cemetery. Environmental advocates familiar with Larry and mountaintop removal will be deeply saddened.

Read more: http://blogs.courier-journal.com/watchdogearth/2012/09/09/west-virginia-mountaintop-removal-mining-opponent-dies/



I just read this from a local activist on facebook, and looked up a news story about it. The loss of Larry Gibson is terrible news, and not even two years after we lost Judy Bonds...

13 replies, 3300 views

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Reply West Virginia mountaintop removal mining opponent dies (Original post)
antigone382 Sep 2012 OP
antigone382 Sep 2012 #1
Adenoid_Hynkel Sep 2012 #2
antigone382 Sep 2012 #3
Adenoid_Hynkel Sep 2012 #4
antigone382 Sep 2012 #5
antigone382 Sep 2012 #6
glinda Sep 2012 #7
antigone382 Sep 2012 #8
antigone382 Sep 2012 #9
sevenseas Sep 2012 #10
antigone382 Sep 2012 #11
Adenoid_Hynkel Sep 2012 #13
countryjake Sep 2012 #12

Response to antigone382 (Original post)

Sun Sep 9, 2012, 09:46 PM

1. A clip of Larry talking about his struggle to save his little piece of Kayford Mountain



And here's a link to his profile on Americans Who Tell the Truth

http://www.americanswhotellthetruth.org/portraits/larry-gibson

"You could walk through the forest. You could hear the animals. The woods like to talk to you. You could feel a part of Mother Nature. In other words, everywhere you looked there was life. Now you put me on the same ground where I walked, and the only thing you can feel is the vibration of dynamite or heavy machinery. No life, just dust. They're doing the same thing to us they done to the Native Americans."--Larry Gibson

Just a real tragedy to hear of this right now.

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Response to antigone382 (Original post)

Sun Sep 9, 2012, 10:01 PM

2. very sad to hear

One of the most passionate people I've ever known.
This is a massive loss to the region.

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Response to Adenoid_Hynkel (Reply #2)

Sun Sep 9, 2012, 10:05 PM

3. Yes, I can't even really process it right now.

We keep losing our biggest fighters...

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Response to antigone382 (Original post)

Sun Sep 9, 2012, 10:06 PM

4. Press release from Keepers of the Mountains

Larry Gibson, long-time environmental activist, died of a heart attack Sunday, September 10, while working on Kayford Mountain, the family home in Raleigh County which he spent the last decades of his life protecting from the coal mining practice known as mountaintop removal.

Kayford was the site of Larry’s birth, the final resting place of 300 ancestors stretching back to the 18th century, and the site of Larry’s annual 4th of July festival celebrating life in the mountains. As part of his effort to preserve the mountains, Larry traveled across the country, to schools, churches and a wide range of public gatherings where he spread his simple gospel about the mountains: “Love em or leave em; just don’t destroy em.”

A private funeral is planned, and Larry’s family has requested that persons wishing to express condolences make donations to Keeper of the Mountains Foundation, which Larry founded in 2004 to support mountain communities. A public memorial service will be announced at a later time. Larry is survived by his wife, Carol, two sons Cameron and Larry, Jr. and his daughter, Victoria. He was sixty-six years old.


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Response to Adenoid_Hynkel (Reply #4)

Sun Sep 9, 2012, 10:29 PM

5. Thanks very much :) n/t

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Response to antigone382 (Original post)

Sun Sep 9, 2012, 10:35 PM

6. Corroboration from a more official source

http://www.dailymail.com/News/statenews/201209090158

Prominent W.Va. environmental activist Gibson dead at 66
by Ashley B. Craig
Daily Mail staff
Advertiser

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- A prominent West Virginia environmental activist died at a Charleston hospital Sunday, a family member confirmed.

Larry Gibson, a vocal opponent of the controversial practice of mountaintop removal mining and organizer of the long-running Mountain Keeper Music Festival, died of an apparent heart attack while working at his cabins on Kayford Mountain, his daughter, Victoria, said Sunday night.

He was 66 years old.

He was working up on the mountain Sunday morning with his wife, Carol, and a cousin. He was moving lumber from a porch when he began to feel odd, Victoria said.

SNIP

"When my dad passed away you could still smell the mountain air on him," Victoria said. "You could still see the dirt underneath his nails and the stains on his hands. He was working."

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Response to antigone382 (Original post)

Sun Sep 9, 2012, 11:13 PM

7. RIP. That is very very sad.

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Response to antigone382 (Original post)

Mon Sep 10, 2012, 08:42 AM

8. kick n/t

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Response to antigone382 (Original post)

Mon Sep 10, 2012, 11:49 AM

9. Well, good to see the cause he lived and died for meant something.

kick because Larry deserved better than to watch Kayford Mountain be raped and destroyed in his life, and he deserves more than to have his lifelong struggle ignored at his death.


Larry showing the view from his home


An image of the destruction at Kayford Mountain, with a view of Larry's property and the cabins in the foreground


Another image of the ongoing destruction of Larry's mountain


Larry putting his money where his mouth is

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Response to antigone382 (Original post)

Mon Sep 10, 2012, 01:28 PM

10. Cause of death was...... ????

Excuse me, fellow mourners....are we missing the elephant in the room here....? Has anyone even said what he died of? How old was he? Did he have any chronic illnesses? I do not want to offend anyone, but please, let's address the obvious question here.... Was it suspicious circumstances?

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Response to sevenseas (Reply #10)

Mon Sep 10, 2012, 01:43 PM

11. My understanding is he had heart surgery last week, including 3 stents.

And yesterday he was doing some yard work and had a heart attack. He was 66.

During his life, coal goons shot up his house, killed his dog, and ran him off the road, and he had no doubt they would have killed him if they could have gotten away with it, but it seems that the cause of his death was just heart disease. Of course whether that can be partially attributed to the negative health effects of living so close to an MTR mine, or to the stress of constantly having to fight with so little success, is hard to say.

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Response to sevenseas (Reply #10)

Mon Sep 10, 2012, 09:24 PM

13. Heart attack - he died in a Charleston hospital

After being flown there by helicopter after collapsing at his remote cabin.
Nothing suspicious - I knew him for several years, and he had a history of heart issues.

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Response to antigone382 (Original post)

Mon Sep 10, 2012, 06:45 PM

12. Kick for Larry Gibson!

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