Category Archives: Citizen Activism

Ask Herring to Stand with Appalachia


On Saturday May 18, 2019, head up to the rally in Leesburg, 1-3 pm at the Leesburg Courthouse, to call on Attorney General Mark Herring to take every action within his power to halt construction on the Mountain Valley Pipeline. Leesburg is Mark Herring’s home town, and he’s been invited to join the rally. Citizens will be asking that Herring

  • Advise the Department of Environmental Quality – his client – to issue a stop work order for the Mountain Valley Pipeline
  • Ask the court hearing his lawsuit against MVP to issue an injunction halting all work on the MVP
  • Advise the State Water Control Board that it has the power under Section 401 of the Clean Water Act and under state law to commence proceedings to revoke the certification previously issued to MVP.

Delegate Sam Rasoul will be the MC and invited speakers include Karenna Gore of the Center for Earth Ethics at Union Theological Seminary; Reverend Lennox Yearwood of the Hip Hop Caucus; Delegate Chris Hurst; Delegate Elizabeth Guzman; Professor Emily Hammond, George Washington University Law School; affected landowners, and more. Music will be provided by old time fiddler and banjoist Rachel Eddy and the SUN SiNG Collective’s Josh Vana, BJ Brown, and Graham Smith-White. There will be activities for kids, such as face painting, bubble-making, and a make-your-own water or prayer flag station, as well as a giant water spirit puppet courtesy of All Saints Theater Company Light refreshments will be provided with a suggested donation amount.

Virginia Senators and Representatives Urged to Protect Appalachian Trail

On May 16, 2019, more than 50 organizations from across the state (including Friends of Nelson) sent a letter to Virginia Senators Tim Kaine and Mark Warner and to Virginia’s members of the House of Representatives calling on them to resist Dominion Energy’s political pressure seeking legislation allowing it to get around a decision by a federal court.

Their letter says, “Congress should not legislate the permits or routes for gas pipelines through national parks in Virginia,” and asks the legislators to “protect the Appalachian Trail, the Blue Ridge Parkway, and the interests of our many members in Virginia by opposing any federal legislation that would exempt the Atlantic Coast or Mountain Valley pipelines from normal process or clear the path for the building or siting of these controversial projects.”

Write your own letters! Use the letters linked above as models for yours, or go to the Alliance for the Shenandoah Valley’s “No Passes” page and use the links there to send email to your legislators.

Back in Nelson!


After installation and display at several sites on the Atlantic Coast Pipeline route, The Defenders have come back to Nelson County. The Defenders is the 8-foot tall and 8-foot wide anti-pipeline sculpture created by Mark Schwenk and Cheryl Langlais of Berkeley Springs West Virginia.

On Saturday afternoon, May 11, 2019, a group of volunteers disassembled the sculpture in Stuarts Draft, loaded it into pickup trucks, and brought it over the Blue Ridge to install it near the entrance to Wintergreen, near the area where Dominion clear cut trees in March 2018, and near the site of the proposed horizontal directional drilling under the Blue Ridge Parkway and Appalachian Trail at Reeds Gap. The Defenders initial installation was at the Rockfish Valley Foundation in September 2018. Thanks to Jeff Heie and Charlie Strickler for the engaging video of the Saturday installation!

Mother’s Day Pie


Our allies in southwest Virginia who are fighting the Mountain Valley Pipeline urge everyone to join them for Mother’s Day Pie! On Sunday, May 12, 2019, at 3:33 pm (or whenever you like), mothers and those who love mothers will gather wherever they are to share stories, eat pie and proclaim their dedication to protecting and defending our sacred waters. If you would like to participate, please do! Your event can be as large or as small as you like. A simple live stream video with pie-eating and proclamation delivery may be enough, or you might wish to have a large community gathering. It’s entirely up to you and your community.

Film yourself reading a proclamation while you eat your pie – or do the proclamation with a group as call and response.

Depending where you live, there are two related events you may wish to attend, one in VA (Floyd County, at the Anahata retreat center) and one in WV (Summers County, at the Laferriere’s Blackberry Springs farm). We also (really) hope you will consider hosting one yourself!

March with Union Hill; Stand with Appalachia


May 17, 11 a.m. – 2 p.m., Richmond (Click for details) “End Environmental Racism Now: March With Union Hill”

Join members of the Union Hill community and others to rally with Rev. William Barber II in Richmond. We’ll march across the Robert E. Lee Bridge along the same route where 51 years ago, almost to the day, civil rights activists marched during Martin Luther King Jr.’s historic Poor People’s Campaign for economic justice. This year, we’ll be marching for environmental justice in Union Hill, a historic black community in Buckingham County targeted for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline’s massive Virginia compressor station, and to stop all fracked-gas infrastructure in the state.

May 18, 1 p.m. – 3 p.m., Leesburg (Click for details) “Herring, Stand with Appalachia: No Mountain Valley Pipeline”

On Saturday, head up to a rally in Leesburg to call on Attorney General Mark Herring to take every action within his power to halt construction on the Mountain Valley Pipeline. All work on the pipeline should stop while the Attorney General’s enforcement case against the pipeline company is pending, and we will encourage Mr. Herring to pursue his lawsuit against MVP to its fullest and to affirm Virginia’s authority to revoke the pipeline’s certification. Speakers include Karenna Gore, Delegate Sam Rasoul, Delegate Chris Hurst, Professor Emily Hammond of George Washington University, as well as landowners and organizers from along the proposed pipeline route.

Mountain Valley Watch Mapping Webinar Planned for May 7

Mountain Valley Watch (MVW), a pipeline surveillance program sponsored by the POWHR coalition, and Trout Unlimited are sponsoring a special free webinar on the MVW mapping system on Tuesday, May 7, 2019, at 7 pm. MVW was developed to allow for citizen oversight of the construction of the Mountain Valley Pipeline, and to facilitate the enforcement of environmental protections and regulations during that process.

The webinar will be conducted by Jason Shelton of MVW and will help participants learn how to leverage the MVW mapping system to assist monitoring efforts and take citizen oversight to the next level. Among topics to be covered are erosion and sediment control plans, aerial photos and locating and sharing information about established and potential water or visual monitoring locations. Click here for more info and to register for the webinar.