Help Katuah Earth First! get an action off the ground!

Dear Friends and Allies,

Katuah Earth First! (KEF!) has had a busy year thus far. Earlier in the year we hosted the Southeast Regional Rendezvous which boasted participants from throughout the region, including West Virginia and Florida. We came together to share are struggles, ideas, and resources to fight our respective campaigns. We then participated in a direct action, along with other organizations, to

Activists blockade train tracks leading to Duke Energy’s Marshall Steam Station.

halt the delivery of mountain top removal coal to Duke Energy. The action was successful in reversing Apple’s decision to use coal to power their data center and commit to renewable energy.

We didn’t stop there. We then provided logistical support for the Radical Action for Mountain People’s Survival (RAMPS)

Campaign with a direct action where activists boarded a coal bargeand halted the shipment of mountain top removal coal. Several hundred folks also blocked road access to an active mine site near Kayford Mountain. Both actions were successful, but couldn’t have been done without support from near and far.

Pro-mountain activists board coal barge.

The fight doesn’t stop there and neither will we!

The RAMPS campaign has announced a Mountain Mobilization this July and KEF! is proud to continue this fight in solidarity. This time, we plan on stepping it up a notch!

KEF! is planning a direct action in conjunction with the Mountain Mobilization. We’ll be bringing a diversity of skills to the table, but we can’t do it without your help! We have the gear, we have the people power, but we need the financial backing to pull off an action of this type. There are a multitude of costs associated with an action including transportation, bail, and legal support.

You can help by making a donation to our Wepay account. Whether it’s $5 or $5,000, every dollar helps. Along with making a donation, you can spread the word to your family and friends. Please share our webpage (, friend us on Facebook (Katuah EarthFirst), and share the donation link  ( With your support we can halt mountain top removal!

For The Earth!

Katuah Earth First!

Organic Farms At Risk Of Herbicides By Electric Utility

There’s a fight brewing in Madison County between organic farmers and the local power utility, French Broad Electrical Member Corporation. FBEMC currently provides service to Madison County, as well as Buncombe County, Yancey County and Mitchell County in North Carolina. Madison County is know for it’s graceful mountains, but it’s also home to nutrient rich soil. It is home to 1500 small family farms, with also being home to the highest numbers of organic farms in North Carolina.

Recently the FBEMC has started to administer two herbicides to maintain their “right of ways”, the area beneath their power lines. The herbicides are glyphosate based Rodeo and Polaris. By reading the material safety data sheets (MSDS) for each of these (Rodeo and Polaris) you would think these chemicals are harmless and safe to spray around fruits, vegetables, and water supplies. But further reading shows that ingestion can cause acute poisoning, kills human cells, and birth defects. Even the New York State attorney general has slapped the wrists of Monsanto for false advertising of glyphosate as “safe and environmentally friendly” Because of these effects, folks have been turning to organic farming to reduce their exposure to such herbicides. Organic farmers are required by the National Organic Program to be free from certain synthetic substances, with Rodeo and Polaris included. And Madison County is home to some of these organic farms.

Madison County is also home to the French Broad River watershed. Glyphosate based herbicides are known to be washed into creeks and streams, to be found in our drinking water sources. Currently, the French Broad River services over 1 million people with drinking water.

We are demanding is that FBEMC halts the use of herbicides near farms and water sources. Using herbicides to control plant growth in their right of way may be economically viable to the utility, but it will do so at the costs of organic farmers losing their certifications. This also doesn’t include the cost of health effects from indirect ingestion.

You can join the fight by contacting FBEMC directly and demand that they immediately halt the use of herbicides near farms and waterways. Viable solutions are to either use mechanical means of maintaining their right of ways, or by providing an exception to farmers. Greg Fowler is the district manager for FBEMC in Madison County. His contact information is as follows:

Greg Fowler

If the French Broad Electric Membership Corporation is true to it’s mission of serving it’s members in Madison County, then they will also protect it’s most vital resources: it’s land and it’s water.

Two Activists Still Detained!

From Mountain Justice Action


At around 3am we got a call from Rebecca Loeb, in jail with Catherine Ann MacDougal for locking down to a coal barge yesterday. They are both doing well. They said the jail is overcrowded and they’re being kept in a holding cell and not released into the jail’s general population. They want us to try to get them out soon if the situation doesn’t change.

For more info. about the action:


Donate to RAMPS:

Donate to Mountain Justice:

Additional information:

Follow them on Twitter @CoalIsFilthy

Photos on Flickr

Seven Activists Held On $10,000 Bond For Halting King Coal

Seven activists were arrested today for halting the delivery of coal to dirty Duke Energy. These activists, James Brady, Elizabeth Mount, Sarah Newman, Gabe Wisniewski, Mickey McCoy, Adam Hall, and Eric Blevins all stood directly in the way and gave Big Coal a direct command: STOP! These activists represented several organizations from within the region: Keepers of the Mountains Foundation, Greenpeace, Radical Action for Mountain People’s Survival (R.A.M.P.S.), and Katuah Earth First!

These activists are each facing a count of impeding a railroad operation, and are currently held on a $10,000 bond. This bond pales in comparison to the damage wreaked by Duke Energy, pales in comparison the profits made by Duke Energy at the expense of the people of Appalachia, and pales in comparison to the price handed off to future generations.

These seven folks stepped up to the plate. What will it take for you to cross the line that Duke Energy has drawn in sand? What are you going to do?

Activists Block Duke Coal Shipment, link Mountaintop Removal to iCloud

CHARLOTTE, NC—This morning, activists from Greenpeace, RAMPS (Radical Action for Mountain People’s Survival), Katuah Earth First!, and Keepers of the Mountains Foundation blocked a coal train en route to the Marshall Steam Station, a Duke Energy coal-fired power plant, and branded the cars with the iconic Apple logo.

Four activists, including leaders from the anti-mountaintop removal movement, locked themselves to the rail tracks preventing the train from passing. Other activists branded the train with Apple’s logo to show that Apple’s growing iCloud will be powered by more coal as its Maiden, NC, data center expands.

“Duke is using datacenter expansion in North Carolina, like Apple’s, to justify reinvesting in old coal-fired power plants and even worse, as an excuse to build new coal and nuclear plants. But if Apple demands renewable energy from Duke Energy to power its iCloud it could help transform both the IT sector’s and North Carolina’s energy economy,” said Gabe Wisnieweski, Greenpeace USA Coal Campaign Director.   “Unfortunately, today Apple’s iCloud uses whatever power Duke offers, and this dirty mix currently includes electricity from burning mountaintop removal coal.  The climate and communities throughout Appalachia and North Carolina are paying the price for Apple and Duke’s short-sighted decisions.”

The Marshall plant burns coal from mountaintop removal, a destructive practice whereby the tops of mountains are blown off to retrieve coal with the debris scraped into adjacent valleys. Air pollution from the Marshall plant causes more than one hundred deaths a year and thousands of asthma attacks. The Marshall Plant is part of the Duke Energy fleet which powers Apple’s iCloud data center in Maiden, North Carolina (1).

Greenpeace’s recent report, “How Clean is Your Cloud?” evaluated fourteen IT companies based on key elements needed to build a clean cloud, including the electricity supply chain of over 80 datacenters (2). The report found that Google and Yahoo are showing commitment to clean energy while Apple, Amazon and Microsoft rely on outdated coal and nuclear energy to deliver their clouds.

Apple has made a limited investment in renewable energy to provide a part of the current power for its data center in North Carolina, but as the facility expands and outgrows this supply, more and more electricity will be provided by Duke’s coal-fired power plants. Apple has sought to downplay the amount of electricity it will buy from Duke by saying that its intended capacity for the Maiden data center is only 20 megawatts (MW). However, today Greenpeace uncovered new information that shows that Apple applied for and was granted permits for backup diesel generators that indicate Apple is equipped for a current power demand of 41 MW of electricity for Phase 1 of its Maiden data center. (3)

“Apple should be more transparent about its coal problem, and take steps to start solving it, as other tech companies have,” said Casey Harrell, Greenpeace International IT analyst.“ Apple should follow the lead of its Silicon Valley and North Carolina neighbor, Facebook, which has committed to set a policy to build future data centers in locations that have access to renewable energy and to lobby the utilities that provide it power, such as Duke, for more access to renewable energy.” (4)

“Corporations must understand that the use and demand for coal from bombing mountains in Appalachia is not only destroying one of the oldest most bio-diverse mountain ranges in the United States, but it is also – by releasing carcinogenic heavy metals into our streams – killing Appalachians, and contributing to the sickness and death of countless others outside the area who depend on these headwaters for their water source,” said activist Mickey McCoy, whose community in Kentucky has suffered the ravages of mountaintop removal.

For more information: contact Keiller MacDuff 202 679 2236

Molly Dorozenski, mdorozen@greenpeace.org917-864-3724

  1. The Toll from Coal: An Updated Assessment of Death and Disease from America’s Dirtiest Energy Source

Strong Heart Lakota Solidarity

Folks, our own Noah Morris is headed to the Pine Ridge Reservation to provide support to the traditional Lakota elders and their families. He is going as part of the Strong Heart Lakota Solidarity Project. There has been an escalation of violence and intimidation against the Lakota people. Noah is on his way to document these human rights violations, and provide direct support.

You can support him by spreading this message, and making a donation to the cause.


Livestock Impoundment crews are confiscating horses and calves belonging to several Dineh people of Big Mountain/Black Mesa, Arizona right now. These livestock impoundments constitute human rights violations against traditional Dineh (Navajo); they take away one of their major food sources and one of the main sources of their livelihood.

Please stay on alert. We have contacted the office of Land Range Management; if they do not respond by tomorrow, we will ask you to flood their lines and say that the elders need their animals to survive and these confiscations are WRONG, that we are watching, and that we see this ongoing harassment as part of cultural genocide.

Eight calves and multiple horses were impounded because the Elders did not have correct permits. One permited calf was taken from an elder and put on Navajo Partitioned Lands (NPL). The ranger told the elder to go ahead and get the calf herself if she wanted it back. Let’s make sure they don’t get away with this.

We’re collecting funds to pay for livestock reclamation. We know it will be at least $500. The amount increases daily. You can go here to donate now !

Many Thanks for Your Support. Stay in touch!

Hallie, Berkley, Liza, Derek, and Tree

You can also call the following folks and (respectfully) give them hell!

Hopi Tribal Chairman‘s office at 928-734-3102
Hopi Tribe Office Of Range Management at (928) 737-5456 make sure to ask (respectfully) that they stop using quads!