Reflection: The Last Mountain

Conjouring My Patronus

The Last Mountain  is a documentary about Mountain Top Removal, and its negative impact on the communities of the Coal River Valley in West Virginia. For anyone who hasn’t heard of Mountain Top Removal is a form of surface mining that involves the mining of the summit of a mountain. The coal seams are extracted from a mountain by removing the overburden, above the seams. Explosives are used to remove up to 400 vertical feet of mountain to expose underlying coal seams.The land may be dumped back on the ridge and constructed in order to reflect the approximate original shaping of the mountain. Excess rock and soil laden with toxic mining byproducts are often dumped into nearby valleys, in what are called “holler fills” or “valley fills.” It is the main method of coal mining in the Appalachian Mountains in the eastern United States.

The documentary reflects on how this method is destructive to the land, air, water and over…

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