Here is a good website for anybody interested in planting trees on bad land, like abandoned stripmines: Appalachian Reforestation Initiative.
If I didn't already have biodiverse land, I would be trying to get ahold of an abandoned mine to do permaculture on. I almost bought a 12-acre mine once for $2500, but I had too much to take care of already. But if anybody needs a permaculture project, they could come to Appalachia and find abandoned mine lands.
I am sure the agencies have lists of abandoned mines, like the Abandoned Mine Reclamation site. I would just find one I liked, and try to locate the owner, if there is one.
Now you can see where the mines are using people to grow marketable trees on top of the land they destroyed. However, I see no reason why individuals could not do their own mine reclamation projects. A lot of the land that was ruined was privately owned, and the mines just had the mineral rights, so they destroyed land to get the coal out, but may or may not have any surface rights.
I think it would be fun to do. You could get a truck and pick up logs and piles of wood chips dumped by tree companies, or piles of logs that people are burning on mines, and carry them to y6our mine site and make hugel beds. Lot of the mines have water pools already on them too, but the water is dead and toxic.
I have thought about trying to put up people on my place until they got something going on a strip mine.
You know, the Kentucky elk herd was released o a stripmine prepared just for them? Also, there are people getting huge grants in Virginia to reclaim mines, do experiments growing native grasses on them, and the like. It seems to me like, the opportunities could be endless. You could start a cattle farm, for ex. [One guy did this.] Bison? Quail farm? Chickens? Pigs?
My wife and son are on their way to Appalachia to do services for families there.
They will also be visiting a mountain top removal site.
Before she left I was speculating about delvering the contents of septic tanks to such sites and seeding the mess with oyster mushrooms.
Logs and such sound much better.
Is your family coming to Ky by any chance? I have friends who take people out on stripmines. They take large groups of people from NGOs, churches, just visitors.
Are you all Mennonites? The Mennonites and sometimes Catholic people come here to work with people. There is even a branch of Mother Teresa's Sisters of Mercy in my county!
I don't mean to be nosy, but it sounds like you might be coming to my area. I know most of the Mennonite service workers here too.
If they don't have a place to stay, I could try to help them find a place. I have extra house and I would not mind keeping people for free except I have the tubs torn out and they can't use water right now. I have water in one house but I have it disconnected until I can put in the other two showers and get the water flowing in a loop through the houses..
I had people here for ten years and they have left and I am taking a chance to clean up the empty houses now. I may be keeping garden iterns next summer, or the tree sitters group. It looks like the tree planters mostly plant in late winter- to early spring.
I appreciate your interest and offer!
We are UU's, and my family members are headed to West Virginia-this time.
We come out of Price Hill in Cincinnati, an old German turned Appalachian turning Hispanic community with environmental justice issues of our own.
You and I should communicate more, as I see more service projects in our future.
As an electrician/plumber/baker with a gardening habit, I am looking forward to my turn at traveling to do good works.
Mind you I have just received a huge amount of energy conservation home improvement for free, from People Working Cooperatively.
I have no way of repaying such blessings except to pay it forward. ..
I hope that anyone who will consider taking on such a needed task, will get legal advice on the dangers of making themselves PERSONALLY responsible for all Federal,State,and
Local government mandated Remediations on What most governments class as '' Brownfield - or Brown Field " Sites!
While opening a 2nd hand shop in an old Gas station might make you responsible for remediation of the site, Having any sort of recognition by any Government organization
that you are attempting remediation could probably open you up to daily over sight, and imposed standards and goals with deadlines and fines imposed !
There are literally 100s of thousands of 'Brown fields' that are now owned by local governments that are now off of the Tax Rolls and will never be back on the tax rolls because of
the risk of future Legal Liabilities !
Many gas stations are now promoting themselves as locally owned and operated by your friends and neighbors, when in fact they are held by Out-of state incorporated entities to
reduce the legal liabilities the day 'Mom and Pop' close the doors and walk away from unsellable previously contaminated properties ! Big AL
Success has a Thousand Fathers , Failure is an Orphan
The link is Appalachian REGIONAL Reforestation Initiative [ARRI]. Sorry.
They have a huge, active website there. it shows them working with forestry agencies and colleges from all over the United States. The stripmines they are working on are about 40 miles form my house.
I e-mailed the American Chestnut Foundation yesterday so that I can get some of those hybrid chestnuts that they are planting on stripmines.
Below I have tried to attach a splendid photo of an American Chestnut Tree which was identified by an expert at Connecticut Experiment Station as a pure tree. I found it growing on the hill behind my house. They will get big like this, but as soon as they form true bark, the bark gets a disease.
But isn't it beautiful?
I found another tree on top of the mountain too.....
I think they are the most beautiful tree in the woods.