Mining guts 1.5m acres of Appalachian forests

Jul 30, 2018, 8:22 AM EDT
(Source: Nicholas A. Tonelli/flickr)
(Source: Nicholas A. Tonelli/flickr)

Devastated, aloof and lifeless patches of lands now populate a sizeable portion of central Appalachia, which was once home to uninterrupted swatches of lush forests and blossoming biodiversity. The culprit behind the wreckage is no other than the notorious coal mining industry.

A recent report, authored by researchers from Duke University, points out that the forests in central Appalachia lost about 1.5 million acres of cover from 1976 to 2015 due to strip mining and mountaintop removal, notes Earther.

The latest findings are based on a new web-based tool that tracks and maps the regions where mountaintop mining is underway thus maintaining a fresh stream of data unlike previous methods that furnished records of mining every 10 years, writes Science Daily.