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11 AM Mountain Roots
Join ethnobotanist Mimi Hernandez to discover the lore, tradition, and science behind Appalachia's most popular and native medicinal roots, from the well known and economically exalted roots of the culture like Ginseng and Black Cohosh to the local secret favorites like Solomon's Seal Stoneroot and many more! Come away with tidbits on Appalachian culture past, present, and future and its contribution to our herbal materia medica.
NOON Envisioning an Appalachia Without Mountain Top Removal
The Keeper of the Mountains Foundation aims to educate and inspire people to work for healthier, more sustainable mountain communities and an end to mountaintop removal. Its members believe a better future in the coalfields requires everyday people to come together and recognize their power to make long-term, lasting change. These activists envision an organization, led by West Virginians, with real power in West Virginia. They support communities that want to move beyond a coal-based economy and put in its place an economy that values people, land, and mountain heritage.
1 PM Marcellus Shale and Eminent Domain
Referring to eminent domain as “legal theft,” Spectra Energy Watch, based out of Bedford County, Pennsylvania, was established by landholders forced to give up their land to public utilities to support the infrastructure of extraction industries. Organizers have been part of a two-year fight pitting private landholders against eminent domain actions launched by Texas-based Spectra Energy Corporation, a natural gas storage company and backed by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). According to founder Mike Benard, “it is not a level playing field legally, economically or ethically for private property owners.” Spectra Energy Watch is dedicated to educating the public on these issues.
2 PM Scales to Tales
Scales to Tales provides festival goers an up-close view of the region’s wildlife. “Scales and Tales” is an educational program using injured, non-releasable birds of prey and reptiles native to Maryland. Featured at the aviary are many birds that have been injured and cannot be released or have been raised in captivity and could not survive in the wild. This one-of-a-kind program allows visitors the opportunity to view wildlife firsthand and hear how the animals became part of the program.
3 PM The Trail of Tears- Cherokee Removal, with Joseph Stands With Many
Joseph Stands With Many provides an historical account of the Cherokee Removal from their Native homeland in 1838. Presented in a way that only a storyteller could, Stands With Many weaves facts, figures, names, and places into the story of tragedy that has become known as The Trail of Tears.
4 PM Voices from the Rubble: Oral Testimonies of Mountaintop Removal Mining
Immerse in vivid excerpts of interviews with Southern West Virginians as they depict lives interlinked with the natural world, now impeded on by the coal dust, blasting, chemicals, and cancers from mountaintop removal near homes. Coalfield citizens outline their traditional interdependence with the land, from hunting, fishing and ginsenging to quiet times in the fields and forests of home. Feel the uplift as residents find their voices and express their outrage about theft of culture as coal companies exact their price on once-thriving communities.
Michael and Carrie Kline interviewed Appalachians and Americans from across the country this past June as they reenacted the historic 50-mile march on Blair Mountain in an effort to honor labor's struggles and to preserve this national monument from mountaintop removal. In 1921 thousands of union coal miners marched this same route to help organize West Virginia's southern coalfields. The march culminated in the Battle of Blair Mountain where ten thousand miners met thousands of law enforcement officers and security guards. Miners called halt to the raging battle when federal troops intervened. Many of these miners were veterans of World War I and would not fight against the military, who they considered as brothers. But hundreds of miners had already lost their lives in the bloody battle. The struggle wages on today, as to whether the Blair Mountain Battlefield will become a National Historic Site, or will be bulldozed for a few tons of coal, along with the surrounding landscape.