Public Lands

A Step Forward in Protecting Blair Mountain

Posted on: September 8th, 2014 by Will Cook 1 Comment

 

View of Blair Mountain from the historic village of Gerrardstown, W.Va. | Credit: Nell Ziehl

View of Blair Mountain from the historic village of Gerrardstown, W.Va. | Credit: Nell Ziehl

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 →

About Will Cook

Will Cook is an associate general counsel at the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

Historic Green Mountain Lookout Now Saved!

Posted on: April 17th, 2014 by Brian R. Turner

 

This post originally appeared on the PreservationNation blog.

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Amid the devastation following a landslide near the rural town of Darrington, Washington, President Obama has signed a bill into law to save the threatened Green Mountain fire lookout, an emblem of the region’s heritage.

On April 3, U.S. Senator Patty Murray offered moving testimony regarding the importance of the site to the affected community:

As Sen. Murray put it, "[Green Mountain Lookout is] a place where parents have brought their kids for generations to appreciate the splendor of the great outdoors in the Northwest. And it’s a place that has been a vital source of tourism-related income for the people who’ve been impacted by this deadly landslide that has struck this region."... Read More →

About Brian R. Turner

Brian R. Turner is the senior field officer and attorney in the San Francisco Field Office.

 

 Casa Rinconada at Chaco Culture National Historical Park, New Mexico. | Credit: Cortez, Colorado, Crow Canyon Archaeological Center

Casa Rinconada at Chaco Culture National Historical Park, New Mexico. | Credit: Cortez, Colorado, Crow Canyon Archaeological Center, Dan Mooney

In northwest New Mexico, a vast culture of Ancestral Puebloans thrived for about 400 years around Chaco Canyon and a 50,000-square-mile area of the Four Corners in Colorado, Arizona, Utah, and New Mexico. Although people had moved on from the Chaco area by about 1250, their enormous structures with hundreds of rooms, great kivas, connected system of roads, and “Chaco Outliers” (far from the heart of Chaco Canyon but similar in design) dot this vast landscape today.

Sounds impressive—and it is. But what if you’ve never had the opportunity to go there? Or you’ve only seen one site, but know there are others? Or you can’t quite get your head around how all of these places fit together on the landscape?

The National Trust has just finished a new video that will transport viewers to that landscape by providing a seldom-seen aerial perspective illustrating the breadth of Chaco sites, their connectivity on the landscape, and threats that they face in the wake of energy development in the San Juan Basin.... Read More →

About Amy Cole

Amy Cole is a senior field officer & attorney in the Western Office of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.