Julie Zickefoose is a forty-year-old mother and writer. She is also an NPR commentator on environmental issues, with mountaintop removal issues as her expertise. Her blog contains an in-depth post entry on West Virginia's mountaintop removal, and how it has personally affected her good friends that live amidst it. She also provides an intermixed history and background on the fight against mountaintop removal, and the political battle that has prolonged throughout the past 10 years. Her blog has wonderful photography revealing Appalachia post-mountaintop removal, and even some images that capture the technique in practice. This blog would be useful to a researcher because it gives what no informational website or book can provide, and that is the personal aspect of mountaintop removal effects. Julie has seen the emotional ties to such a destructive practice, and relays that emotion to the public. As much as someone can learn about the technique and history of mountaintop removal, sometimes it's the personal aspect that is most informative.
Provisions Library (Signal Fire Blog). Green Screens: Mountaintop Removal. Retrieved June 3, 2008, from http://wiki.provisionslibrary.org/blog/index.php/2008/04/14/greens-screens-mountaintop-removal/
Provisions Library is a non-profit learning resource for arts and social change. Their Signal Blog features news items with a pop-culture spin. They also produce a monthly email newsletter. Provisions Library's Green Screen blog features news items dealing with today's environmental justice issues. The specified entry on mountaintop removal focuses on filmmaker Michael O'Connell, who documented the struggle between West Virginia activists and coal industries over mountaintop removal. The blog also provides two links, one to an in-depth article detailing the O'Connell's filming of mountaintop removal practices in West Virginia in helping to stop the practice, and the other link for more information about the screening of the documentary. The film is called Mountaintop Removal, and it documents the citizens of the region, and the activist group Appalachian Voices. The Signal blog, and more importantly the links it provides, would be useful to a researcher because it presents the mountaintop removal issue from more of a public sphere, and how the issue has begun to permeate certain areas of society, like the entertainment industry. The blog links allow the researcher to see how serious the issue has become, and how interested the public really is in it. If a movie is being made about the issue, then it obviously has had legitimate impact on society.
Beetham, John. Help Stop Mountaintop Removal. Retrieved June 3, 2008, from http://dendroica.blogspot.com/2008/04/help-stop-mountaintop-removal-mining.html
John Beetham is an online blogger about birds and environmental issues within the Washington D.C. and New Jersey areas. His blog entry on mountaintop removal has an interesting angle because of the fact that he is a bird expert. After providing the general information on what mountaintop removal is and how it is destructive, John goes more into detail about how it affects the surrounding bird habitats and populations. I have not found any other site that addresses such a specific area that mountaintop removal affects, and it's interesting how his expert study in birds can be applied to this environmental issue. He also provides a link to a list of all the House Representatives in support of the bill to stop mountaintop removal, and advises that you check the list to see if your representative is on it. This online blog would be useful to a researcher because it pinpoints a very specific area that is affected by mountaintop removal and allows the researcher to go deeper than just general information on the issue. A researcher might use this information to further correlate bird populations and mountaintop removal, and produce another studied effect of the mountaintop removal practice.