Mode of Program Participation
Community Organizing and Educational Programming
Extreme Land Politics and Just Transition: Planning a New Appalachian Land Study
Session Abstract or Summary
Thirty-five years ago, the Appalachian Land Ownership Study (ALOS) demonstrated that land was concentrated in the hands of absentee energy and timber interests and linked this monopoly to extreme resource exploitation, unjust taxation schemes, and underdevelopment. An updated study of West Virginia (2013) found that land concentration still exists but reflects new patterns, with Timberland Investment Management Organizations (TIMO's) holding the largest share of land. At the same time, new forms of extreme extraction such as fracking are on the rise in the region.
This roundtable will explore what we need to do to develop a new regional land study that not only reflects and investigates “Who Owns Appalachia Today” but that also supports the passion and commitment that permeates current Appalachian scholarship, activism, and policy goals for just transition. The roundtable participants will share their perspectives on efforts to bring together a wide range of networks and stakeholders to begin planning a new study. We will report back on a previous stakeholder meeting and transition into an open forum to help shape and guide the planning process for a new study (see www.appalachianlandstudy.com). With this dialog, we hope to begin to answer: What should a new study accomplish, and how should it be done? The forum is also an open invitation to get involved in the ongoing efforts of the working group, which in the spirit of the original study, aims to foster an open and collaborative process in all aspects of study design and implementation.
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At-A-Glance Bio- Presenter #1
Adam Wells is the Economic Diversification Program Coordinator for Appalachian Voices where he works to transition the economies of coalfield communities by focusing on citizen engagement, clean energy development, and the preservation of the region’s natural assets. Adam has worked as a community organizer in Southwest Virginia for nearly a decade. He lives on his family’s multigenerational land in the heart of coal country and has a B.A. from Appalachian State University.
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Lindsay Shade is a doctoral student in the Geography Dept, University of Kentucky. Here areas of interest include development studies, legal geography, and political ecology. Her dissertation research comparatively examines administrative/legal governance of the subsoil in northwest Ecuador and northern West Virginia.
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William Schumann is director of the Center for Appalachian Studies at Appalachian State University in Boone, NC. Schumann is a cultural anthropologist who has conducted research and taught in southern, central, and northern Appalachia since 1997.
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Shaunna Scott is the editor of the Journal of Appalachian Studies, and a former president of the ASA. She is also Director of Appalachian Studies and an Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of Kentucky
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David Rouse is professor of philosophy, emeritus, The University of Virginia’s College at Wise, and a member of Southern Appalachian Mountain Stewards (SAMS). He chairs the SAMS Land Committee which is currently doing a Wise County land ownership study. His philosophical interests include environmental and land use ethics.
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Bill Price has lived most of his life in WV, much of it in the community of Dorothy in the southern part of the state. Recently, Bill’s work focuses on federal and state policies that work toward a just and sustainable Appalachia through a regional coalition, The Alliance for Appalachia. Bill is an organizer with the Sierra Club in the Environmental Justice program and the Beyond Coal to Clean Energy Campaign.
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