The National Trust for Historic Preservation, the Sierra Club, and a coalition of preservation allies and environmental groups achieved a major victory last week when the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, in a 2-1 decision , determined that the coalition had standing to sue the National Park Service, Keeper of the National Register of Historic Places, and the Department of the Interior for unlawfully removing Blair Mountain from the National Register of Historic Places. The court of appeals reversed the 2012 decision of U.S. District Judge Reggie Walton, who dismissed the lawsuit on the basis that the coalition members lacked standing to sue. The Court of Appeals’ ruling is a major setback for coal companies, who led an earlier successful effort to have Blair Mountain removed from the National Register.
The Blair Mountain Battlefield, in Logan County, West Virginia, is the site of the 1921 battle of Blair Mountain, the largest armed labor conflict in the nation's history, and which involved at least 7,000 miners who were seeking the right to unionize and exercise civil liberties, such as freedom of speech and assembly. Blair Mountain was previously included on the National Trust’s List of 11 Most Endangered Historic Places in 2006. ... Read More →