Looking into a Mine Site

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Larry Gibson (right) leads women to a knoll in the family cemetery on Kayford Mountain near Cabin Creek to overlook sprawling Catenary Coal Company's Samples Mine owned by Arch Coal Company. <br />
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Larry Gibson's family has lived on or near Kayford Mountain since the late 1700's. More than 300 relatives are buried in the cemetery on Kayford Mountain. Larry and his family used to live on the lowest lying part of the mountain, and looked "up" to the mountain peaks that surrounded them. Since 1986, the slow motion destruction of Kayford Mountain has been continuous -- 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Eighteen years after the "mountain top removal" project began, Larry Gibson now occupies the highest point of land around; he is enveloped by a 12,000 acre pancake in what was previously a mountain range.<br />
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 The coal company wanted to buy the property to expand their operation, but he formed a nonprofit foundation of the Stanley family heirs when their 500 acres shrunk to 50 acres (the coal company had acquired the rest.)  The heirs have a few small houses and a park they invite family and friends to gather on holidays for cookouts and song fests.  During every gathering, people always make their way to the old family cemetery where mining can be viewed (one of the few places on private land to see an operation from the ground). Fly rock from mining blasts has landed in the cemetery.  Gibson has been intimidated, harassed and threatened by mining company employees for holding out.  He remains outspoken against mountaintop removal.
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