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John Denver parody protests mountain top removal

Tonya Adkins uses a John Denver song to protest mountain top removal in West Virginia.  Lyrics by Bob Kinkaid. Eloquent and heartbreaking.

As I listened to the original John Denver song, I was shocked to discover that the song was specifically about West Virginia mountains (making the parody all the more poignant).

Almost heaven West Virginia
Blue Ridge Mountains Shenandoah river
Life is old there older than the trees
Younger than the mountains blowin’ like a breeze
Country roads take me home
To the place I belove
West Virginia mountain momma
Take me home country roads
All my memories gather round her
Miner’s lady stranger to blue water
Dark and dusty painted on the sky
Misty taste of moonshine teardrops in my eyes
Country roads take me home
To the place I belong
West Virginia mountain momma
Take me home country roads
I hear a voice in the morning hour as she calls me
The radio reminds me of my home far away
Drivin’ down the road I get a feelin’
That I should have home yesterday yesterday
Country roads take me home
To the place I belong
West Virginia mountain momma
Take me home country roads
Country roads take me home
To the place I belove
West Virginia mountain momma
Take me home country roads
West Virginia mountain momma
Take me home country roads
West Virginia mountain momma
Take me home country roads
Take me home country roads
Take me home country roads

From a recent scientific paper on the subject:

The U.S. Clean Water Act and its implementing regulations state that burying streams with materials discharged from mining should be avoided. Mitigation must render nonsignificant the impacts that mining activities have on the structure and function of aquatic ecosystems. The Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act imposes requirements to minimize impacts on the land and on natural channels, such as requiring that water discharged from mines will not degrade stream water quality below established standards.

Yet mine-related contaminants persist in streams well below valley fills, forests are destroyed, headwater streams are lost, and biodiversity is reduced; all of these demonstrate that MTM/VF causes significant environmental damage despite regulatory requirements to minimize impacts. Current mitigation strategies are meant to compensate for lost stream habitat and functions but do not; water-quality degradation caused by mining activities is neither prevented nor corrected during reclamation or mitigation.

Clearly, current attempts to regulate MTM/VF practices are inadequate. Mining permits are being issued despite the preponderance of scientific evidence that impacts are pervasive and irreversible and that mitigation cannot compensate for losses. Considering environmental impacts of MTM/VF, in combination with evidence that the health of people living in surface-mining regions of the central Appalachians is compromised by mining activities, we conclude that MTM/VF permits should not be granted unless new methods can be subjected to rigorous peer review and shown to remedy these problems. Regulators should no longer ignore rigorous science. The United States should take leadership on these issues, particularly since surface mining in many developing countries is expected to grow extensively

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