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Appalachia’s Coal-Mining Legacy: Reforesting for the Future.
November 17, 2022 @ 12:00 PM - 1:00 PMFree
The Appalachian Mountains serve many roles: important habitat for incredible biodiversity, inspiration for artists, and a destination for tourists. But many lands in Appalachia have also been working lands, driving economic prosperity in the region through industries like forestry and mining. For many decades, coal miners in Appalachia contributed greatly to the American workforce and to the industrial might of our country. But today, fewer and fewer jobs remain, and thousands of acres of surface-mined land sit barren or have been converted to gravelly grassland. Through a specific reforestation process known as the Forestry Reclamation Approach, formerly mined sites can be improved. After reforestation, these sites have higher biodiversity, can help to naturally clean and filter rainwater entering into nearby streams, and provide long-term economic benefits to surrounding communities. The future of Appalachian ecosystems and communities lies in our ability to reckon with these legacies of the past.
Cliff Drouet, a Forester with the Appalachian Regional Reforestation Initiative, will join Mekayle Houghton with the Cumberland River Compact for a conversation about the legacy of the coal industry in this region and what the future holds.
Visit the Tennessee State Museum site to reserve a lunch or find the live-stream information.