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Plundering Appalachia is a collection of photographs and essays detailing the grim realities of mountaintop removal mining: the effects of the blasting on the environment and the people and animals in its wake; the irreversible devastation of the natural landscape of Appalachia; how mountaintop removal is or is t regulated; and the true costs of the practice over time. Most people in the United States are connected to mountaintop removal in some way, whether they live in the affected areas, consume products derived from the mining haul, or are dealing with the effects that mining has on their ecosystem. Plundering Appalachia is a clarion call to action, asking Americans to get past the rhetoric of the coal industry and see the real Appalachia. Supported by science and common sense, the book is a plea for a region whose natural beauty deserves to be enjoyed by future generations.
Tom Butler is the editorial projects director for the Foundation for Deep Ecology, and a long-time conservation activist focused on wilderness and biodiversity. He is a founding board member and current vice president of the Northeast Wilderness Trust, the only land trust in the northeastern United States focused exclusively on protecting forever-wild landscapes. His book Wild Earth: Wild Ideas for a World Out of Balance collected essays from the conservation journal Butler edited from 1997 2005. For Wildlands Philanthropy, he immersed himself in the creation stories of parks, refuges, and nature preserves established over the span of a century. In these tales of struggle and success he found both inspiration and a greater appreciation for the way protected areas have richly affected the American experience, offering blessings of beauty, wildness, and hope to future generations.