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Activist Larry Gibson visits Boone for Earth Day

Article Published: Apr. 15, 2010 | Modified: Sep. 7, 2011
Activist Larry Gibson visits Boone for Earth Day

Larry Gibson has become a figurehead in the battle against mountaintop mining.

Photo submitted

An activist against coal-mining mountaintop removal will be in Boone for Earth Day.

Larry Gibson has gained national attention for his efforts to stop mountaintop removal in the Appalachian Mountains, and he will speak at Appalachian State University and downtown Boone on April 22.

His family land located on Kayford Mountain in West Virginia is surrounded by one of the largest mountaintop removal coalmines in Appalachia. Gibson founded the Keepers of the Mountain Foundation to preserve and foster the values of mountain culture and education others about the destruction caused by mountaintop removal.

Appalachian Voices, a local environmental-advocacy organization, is scooting into Earth day with a special giveaway.

The Appalachian Institute for Renewable Energy and Appalachian Voices are collecting donations as a fundraiser for Larry Gibson, the Keeper of the Mountains. Gibson is a long-time activist against mountaintop coal removal,. The money will help purchase a security system for the property around Gibson, who has been threatened with violence because of his activism, according to Appalachian Voices volunteer Maeve Gould.

Kayford. West Virginia, Gibson preserved a park near his home in Kayford West Virginia, and Gould said the park hosts events year round.

"There have been some incidents," Gould said. "I'm working on this because I do feel mountaintop removal is destructive and I support Larry and what he's doing."

Gibson will be in Boone for a university visit, followed by a reception on April 22 at The GreenHouse on Depot Street in downtown Boone. That's when the drawing for the Vespa scooter will be held, though donations can be made before then.

Donations to enter the drawing can be made before April 22 at the Appalachian Voices office located at 191 Howard St. Donations can also be made through the Web site at

Gibson is a CNN Hero and preserved his birthplace, which is located in the middle of a 7,000-acre mountaintop-removal site in West Virginia. He travels across the United States educating and encouraging people to protect Appalachian land and heritage. Gibson has testified to the United Nations and the United States Senate, and several movies and books have chronicled Gibson's fight to preserve Appalachia.

On Earth Day, Gibson will speak on the campus of Appalachian State University at 4 p.m. at the Linville Falls Room in the Plemmons Student Union. A reception will follow the lecture and guests will have the opportunity to meet Gibson at The Greenhouse, located at the corner of Depot Street and Howard Street, from 6 p.m. until 8 p.m.

A donation of $5 is suggested for each entry to win. An after-event party, sponsored by Appalachian State University Sustainable Energy Society, will be held at Galileo's on W. King Street from 8 p.m. until 12 p.m. with live music.

Donations to enter and win the Vespa Scooter are being collected now through April 22. The events are free and open the public. Call (828) 262-1500 for more information on the fundraiser.

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