Being rich in natural resources, the region contains some of the richest mineral deposits in America (Daugneaux 1981). The coal, timber, oil, gas, and water contained within the Appalachian Mountains are resources that have historically influenced the economic characteristics of the region. The Region's economy has been highly dependent on mining, forestry, agriculture, chemical industries, and heavy industry, among which coal mining appears to be the largest financial contributor to the economy. Although half of the U.S. electricity comes from coal energy, many Americans now precious little about the earth-ravaging mining practice called mountaintop-removal mining used to extract coal in Southern Appalachia. The radical strip-mining process literally blow the tops off mountains with thousands of pounds of explosives to reach thin seams of coal. They then dump millions of tons of rubble and toxic waste into the streams and valleys below the mining sites. The mining poisons drinking water, destroys beautiful forests and wildlife habitat, increases the risk of flooding, and wipes out entire communities. There are four distinctive people groups that are involved in the mountaintop removing process, the coal companies, the Appalachians, environmental groups and the federal court. To fully understand the way natural resources have been understood, used, and allocated, it is important to recognize this diversity. In this paper I will identify the approach to resource management of these four groups in this mountaintop-removal mining case respe...
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...y question, what good is a profession that destroys your home and your body? While environmental groups make the protection of people and the environment of the Appalachian region top priority, the mining companies focus on acting cheaply, not responsibly. And the policy government keeps their heads in the sand when it comes to this issue because they seek benefits of steady jobs and tax revenue of coal mining instead of seeking to guarantee clean water for Appalachians.
Acknowledging that conflicts is a prerequisite for sustainable management that is participatory and equitable. Solving conflicts requires the cooperation of all groups involved. Through the cooperation of all parties, mountaintop coal mining may be modified so that better social, environmental and economic goals can be achieved and the interests of all affected parties can be adequately considered.
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