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Rethinking Region: What Ought We Do About Central Appalachia?
White paper exploring major current issues in rural America and what to do about them,
including:
**focusing on economic sectors in which jobs will not be automated away
**creating a federal task force on rural health
**creating a national rural policy separate from the Farm Bill to address approaches to rural
issues
**moving past polarizing and rotten rhetoric
**contending with work-related identity issues
and much more...
Introduction / Summary
Poverty, poor health, low education, and low civic participation statistics, facts, and realities
abound regarding central Appalachia, this now largely low populated subsection of the US
Southeast. Arising from six years of qualitative and quantitative research as well as
theory-based
scholarship,
this paper
outlines a
number of
key regional
as well as
national rural
issues and
what ought or
could be
done to
further
address
them.
Background
/ Problems
Low
population
With
declining
local clientele
for local
for-profit
businesses
and the issue
of low
population
density rural
or hinterland
nonprofits competing against high population density urban areas for federal and state
assistance or private foundation funds, the low and declining population of central Appalachia
and many of its adjacent regions (such as Southside Virginia) handicap business and nonprofit
competitiveness and nonprofits’ measures of quantitative impact.
Note the balance and location of reasonably current (last 25 years) of agricultural land and timber
potential, and urban locations. Note that along the 36th parallel just south of Norfolk, VA (the red dot on
VA’s southern coast) you can travel almost ten hours (600 miles) without hitting a “developed (urban)
area (Bowling Green, KY is the next urban area west on that parallel). This is truer now than when this
map was produced. Also, many agricultural sectors in adjacent areas to link to!
(​http://landcovertrends.usgs.gov/east/regionalSummary.html​)
Low and declining population is and will remain a key struggle in the central Appalachian region
as it builds on emerging economic sectors. There is no national discussion of “right size” for the
rural, or, how many people this economic sector in this place truly can support. For example,
from Montgomery County, VA to McCreary County, KY across 50 counties, the sum of that
population is less than that of metro Pittsburgh.
As our rural population continues to decline, we must find ways to bridge sectors across state
lines and to bridge our interests. There are simply not enough local residents for economic
sector participants to compete. Everyone must be brought to the table and engaged. Many inter-
and cross-regional alliances across economic sectors must be jumpstarted to produce economic
viability for the large rural sections of our region.
What ought our stance be regarding our declining and continuing to decline population?
Coordination and support of additional economic sectors beyond energy
Beginning with the first land surveys completed of the region, the federal government and the
newly forming state governments were acutely interested in sources of energy for
transportation, domestic use, and for export. Prior to the creation of the US Geological survey in
1879, individual central Appalachian states conducted geological surveys to assess the capacity
for the growth of mineral industries here. Until the 1970s the US government provided many tax
incentives to mineral industries and also supported much mineral energy sector industrial
research through agencies like the US Bureau of Mines (active 1910 - 1996) and today through
the Department of Energy, the US Geological Survey, etc..
Though subject to market and demand flux, the mineral sector and energy sector emerged as a
fully developed sector in central Appalachia by 1920. The quantity and quality of federal and
state support for non-mineral economic sectors in central Appalachia, and, in some coal
adjacent areas--a non-tobacco agricultural sector--historically has not matched the financial,
industrial research, or tax support for the energy sector.
For example, the region can be broken into primary historical economic interests, and, these
specific economic interests have often superseded local and state governmental power as
regional power structures (think the power of a king, then reflect on the analogy and power of
King Coal).
For example the nonprofit-business sector collaboration in the Pittsburgh metro region, the
Power of 32, defines its service and economic area ​by media market.​ The gas industry by ​shale
plays​. The coal industry by coterminous ​coalfields​. In our regional subsection, coalfields or
shale plays or media markets often define cultural, interpersonal, and business relationships. To
this, add in proximity to major metropolitan areas, and, according to economic and urban
geography literature, most areas within an hour of commute from a city (within a commutershed)
usually find much of their economy tied to production or in relationship with their closest urban
center. Political allegiances and alliances in central Appalachia followed and often continue to
follow these geographical-industrial or business sector orientations.
1
How can redefine the sector flows and central Appalachian regional economic sector flows
beyond energy, media, and urban commutersheds? How ought we?
Political influence has often followed the money and how industries cross borders in our region.
The region can be broken down along economic sectors or main industries nearly as much as it
can be along state lines. ​Imagine political and economic influence broken down less by state
borders and more by economic and political drivers. These maps offer some guidance...
West Virginia-Pennsylvania-Ohio natural gas sector. The red and blue sectors also reveal
political and money alliances irrespective of state borders...
(​http://www.marcellus.psu.edu/resources/maps.php​)
2
Central West Virginia (Cabell, Kanawha, Putnam, Wayne, Marshall counties) often follows the
leads of the chemical industry, and the world’s largest player--Bayer-Monsanto--has a significant
presence there (​http://www.wvcommerce.org/business/topsites/colocation.aspx​):
3
The Pocahontas Coalfields form another subset of regional political orientation, industrial, and
worker orientation. (​http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2002/of02-105/fig7.gif)
Media market maps are useful tools to determine how businesses, people, commerce, and
traffic connects in a regional subsection, and how politicians relate to one another and connect.
4
The Charleston-Huntington, WV Media Market mirrors voting demographic shifts.
5
Map from “How Central Appalachia went Right” at
http://www.dailyyonder.com/how-coalfields-went-gop/2015/01/13/7668/​.
The Tennessee Valley Authority also demarcates other regional connections...
Promoting and marketing the region
Authenticity is a complicated yet essential construct with respect to promoting products
produced for or from rural producers. For better or worse, central Appalachia has identity
markers internally and to the nation upon which it currently, as a whole, does not capitalize.
Looking to the future and the growth of the millennial sector in the marketplace, for attracting
significant clientele and even perhaps population stabilization or attracting new inhabitants, the
region needs coordinated branding of, and to link beyond the immediate central Appalachian
region, its agricultural, liquor, tourist, and creative community sectors.
How ought we brand and market our regional emerging economic sectors? Who ought to
participate in this branding and marketing?
How people in the region consider themselves, rethinking regional alliances
6
Coal mining on any scale occurred in much of central Appalachia for the first time in the 1880s,
with coal-related employment peaking by the late 1920s. Technological advances such as the
continuous miner (machine) in coal production and its wide adoption in the 1950s, and the later
introduction of large surface mining equipment, made the re-introduction of significant coal
employment untenable.
In this respect, central Appalachians continue to heavily identify with an economic sector no
longer producing viable employment, and, which prior to the 1880s, if from the region, their
families most likely did not engage in.
However, emerging economic sectors such as sustainable agriculture, liquor, tourist, and
creative community sectors link to adjacent regions such as Southside Virginia, I-77 and NW
North Carolina, and even rural economic trends more broadly in the Southeast, such as the
emerging agricultural sector in the high unemployment rural PeeDee region of South Carolina.
How ought we broaden our work-associated central Appalachian identities?
Coordination of public health response
Central Appalachia is targeted by the Centers for Disease Control for an explosion of HIV, Hep
B and Hep C, and in this respect, is similar to other low populated regions of the United States.
Currently, little federal coordination of the response to rural HIV, Hep B or Hep C exists, and,
likewise, little extra-statutory coordination of response to these diseases exists in central
Appalachia.
(T​he attached map of CDC data on where HIV is hit to explode in central Appalachia and adjacent
areas. From ​an article in the Guardian, July 31, 2016.​)
How ought we respond across the region to this public health crisis?
Lack of leadership
Low trust exists among the population of their elected leaders. Alternatively, no current thriving
center exists in the West Virginia or Virginia subsections of central Appalachia to train residents
in civic leadership or participation or to encourage or train locals to run for state or local office.
How ought we build leaders in our region?
Brownfields research and rehabilitation for other economic sectors
7
The research for brownfield rehabilitation for agricultural and recreational use in the coalfield
region is not coordinated, and, according to rehabilitation scientists, what is known often is not
sufficient to guarantee public safety of consumable products.
How do we guarantee safety of edibles produced in the coalfield and energy producing sections
of our region?
Educational coordination
Little to no extra-statutory (cross-border) coordination exists in the region for education
pertaining to the emerging economic sectors of agriculture, liquor, tourism, and creative
communities, or, regionally-focused marketing and branding of these sectors. The education
that does exist is not tiered, in which case it would provide appropriate entry point education for
novices or the unemployed as well as professional development for experienced professionals
in these emerging sectors. Furthermore, the education for novices often is not tied to market
imperatives or predicting upcoming trends.
How ought we coordinate and create education in our region for emerging economic sectors?
Innovation and entrepreneurship in the region
Central Appalachians take much personal risk with respect to physically demanding labor and
personal consumption habits. However, the boom and bust single sector energy economy
promoted dependence upon a single sector for employment. Often appropriate emerging
economic sector risk is not well-supported by state, federal, or private foundation or bank
funding or by educational institutions.
How do we gain more educational and financial support for entrepreneurial risk in central
Appalachia?
Solutions
In order to address the issues outlined under
● Low population
● Coordination and support of additional economic sectors beyond energy
● Promoting and marketing the region
● How people in the region consider themselves, rethinking regional alliances
a shift in economic, business, marketing, nonprofit, private foundation, and institutional policy
and approach in this region should include:
**Large scale extra-statutory (across state border) coordination and support for
emerging economic sectors. **Provide concrete meetings, support, and policies
for promoting cross-border and extra-statutory approaches in economic and
community development, with incentives to link to more prosperous adjacent
regions** Create a regional investors’ circle**
For example, the recent Appalachian Regional Commission POWER grant to Appalachian
Sustainable Development qualifies as support for an emerging regional economic sector, and
ought to be a model for regional and extra-regional collaborations beyond state borders.
Additionally, this support out to include real and material support for regional connections of
economies, marketing efforts, nonprofit programming, and funding and health institutions. We
must break and fund beyond the statutory borders in the same way that other regional sectors
(coal and tobacco) did and do, and, connect beyond central Appalachia to adjacent emerging
and thriving sectors.
8
(http://www.timesnews.net/News/2016/08/26/ARC-grant-to-boost-ASD-food-jobs-initiative​)
This continued sectoral assistance for emerging regional economic sectors and regional
coordination of the agricultural, liquor, tourist, and creative community sectors ought to be
comprehensive in terms of logistics, export, demand, branding, marketing, etc.
For example, the emerging creative communities (​Fayetteville, WV,​ ​Lewisburg, WV​, ​Hinton,
WV​, ​Princeton, WV,​ ​Galax, VA​, ​Floyd, VA​, ​Elkin, NC​, ​Charleston, WV​ and ​Abingdon, VA​) ought
to be marketed together as a Creative Corridor. This corridor ought to be supported as a
regional economic sector. They ought to work together on branding/marketing this "Creative
Corridor" through a tourist map, website, and public relations potentially for an “Appalachian
Artist Trail” or “Creative Trail.” There ought to be cross-promotion of festivals, events, etc.
Imagine a creative trail and new creative emerging economies working together in this kind of
“Creative Corridor” for current and emerging artists, artisans, and musicians working ​now. This
is not an exercise in history or nostalgia, but potential coordinated sectoral support for ​current
working creative people in creative communities:
9
(Princeton, WV’s RiffRaff Arts Collective and its ​Create Your State​ project is one example of an emerging
creative community driving local economic change)
Moreover, the emerging liquor-tourism sectors of NC and KY ought to be a model to build on in
the region for both product creation, regional image branding, and linking together for tourism.
More about the entrepreneurial success of Kentucky’s Bourbon Trail or the adjacent Yadkin
Valley wine tourism region below:
Kentucky has its Bourbon Trail and a thriving distillery tourism sector.​ ​
More than 725,000 visits
accompanied those nine small distilleries on that trail in 2013 alone. According to the Kentucky
Distillers Association, distilleries are “the hottest tourism attraction around.”
By contrast, the West Virginia section of the I-77 Corridor no alcohol-related tourist attraction
exists.​ Yet, a little over an hour further south on the same highway, a lively and award-winning
wine industry sits in the I-77 corridor of North Carolina. The economic impact of North Carolina’s
wine industry including that of the Yadkin Valley is $1.3bn supporting 7,600 jobs. This wine
sector is becoming an emerging moonshine and hard liquor tourist destination with the
10
legalization of distilleries in North Carolina and a new showcase distillery and farm to table site
to open​ along I-77 in Statesville, NC in 2017.​ In terms of planning long-term economic
investment in our region​, the hard liquor economic sector maintains its strength even in
economic downturns​. It is potentially rich sector for agricultural and tourist development
regionwide.
Our region needs investment scaled to local needs, and, it needs to link investors to each other
for education on impact investing for emerging economic sectors to succeed.
If federal and state entities do not step up to assist with this emerging economic sector
organization, then the private, nonprofit, philanthropic, and education sectors must step up to do
this work themselves.
This governmental assistance so far largely has been lacking and not comparable to the
assistance given energy or large scale industry; moving forward we can anticipate that this will
remain true.
Moreover, we must move forward from a model that more than likely, in many locations, who is
left and what is left is what is left to be built on.
We can build on how the emerging economies and how people already flow in our region. We
can follow how people already currently network (such as media markets, transportation flow,
even how schools play sports against one another) to form connections in rural subsections that
make the task of working together manageable and sensible.
(​http://kybourbontrail.com/bourbon-trail-passport-start-here/evan-williams-bourbon-expereince/
http://www.cincinnati.com/story/money/2015/01/30/tourism-boom-kentucky-bourbon-distilleries/22617933/
https://www.northcarolina.edu/sites/default/files/documents/uncg_campus_narratives_nc_wine_industry.pdf​)
The Treetop Creative Co-op​ is one such regional project looking for technical assistance to grow the local
and regional creative economy sector. It has much infrastructure but lacks management and entrepreneurial
expertise.
11
**​Policy shift toward smart shrinkage, low growth, and even potential degrowth.
In short, most of this kind of rural America is losing population, becoming
increasingly poorer, and regional and national rural policy ought to address this
head on.**
Europe spent much time in the early 2000s rethinking its approach to its population declining
areas. The European Union developed the Shrink Smart program and only one US city has
implemented similar programs (the Appalachian town of Youngstown, OH). Likewise, the World
Bank made a series of recommendations for the relocation or phasing out of small populated
Russian “monotowns.​”
We must have a frank discussion in population-declining central Appalachia, and in the US
more generally about population decline in rural areas. We must frankly and openly plan for
shrinkage of population in most rural areas.
(​http://www.shrinksmart.eu/​)
12
We must come to face the fact that some subsections of our region may not be jump started
economically and discuss what is required to live in these places: what should these kinds of
communities’ “survival and thrival” tactics become?
While we grow these emerging economic sectors, how can we reskill for homestead and rural
livelihood in locations where even new emerging sectors may not take root, or root deeply
enough?​ How do we offer skills to make rural living possible for people wanting to stay in their
location, but in a generation not raised to live from the land?
How do we plan for the day the relief stops, for sectors, and for individuals?
(From: ​Martinez and Wu​--one framework for rethinking a city’s purpose in an age of shrinkage)
13
**Private foundation and federal shifts to scale grants that make sense for low
rural populations and/or technical assistance to help counties work across
borders to serve higher population impact.**
The giving to rural areas does not match, per capita, the giving to urban regions. Federal and
state grants are tooled for quantitative impact (how many people served). New kinds of federal
and state and private foundation grants must be created to address the scale and needs of rural
giving. Likewise, appropriate investor giving ought to be scaled and created for rural regions.
Philanthropic, governmental, and private investment must support giving and lending in rural
economic sectors that will not lead to the automation of rural jobs and the continued
displacement of rural workers by technology. The US Bureau of Labor recently anticipated that
many jobs currently paying less than $20 will be automated in the future.
How do we create human centered economies and human livelihoods in our region that cannot
be automated away? How do we build out our emerging sectors for support and success? How
can we build in adjacent work such ​as this list begun reflecting kinds of work and workers more
broadly needed to make farming even more viable in our region​?
(​https://nonprofitquarterly.org/2014/12/04/what-ails-rural-communities-philanthropy-what-must-be-done/?gcli
d=Cj0KEQjw6uO-BRDbzujwtuzAzfkBEiQAAnhJ0KuoSh1DHFE0Vg2xhqC5i8hbRy_YEfFcT5pZhQszMn4aAn
pB8P8HAQ​)
http://www.marketwatch.com/story/the-robots-are-coming-for-jobs-that-pay-20-an-hour-or-less-white-house-f
inds-2016-02-22​)
14
**​Create a regional branding and marketing cooperative to provide online
vehicles for the region to speak to itself (promote assets and successes) such as
a regionally-focused online magazine and social media driver to internally brand
the region to itself and to communicate the region to itself (especially good news
and assets), and, to brand and market the region externally, aimed specifically at
the millennial market share (the growing share and the share of the future both
internally and externally).**
For example, Mountain Tech Media in Whitesburg, KY (pictured below) is a millennial-run
company in partnership with Appalshop and prepared to take on this kind of branding and
marketing cooperative, given the right partners and funding. They are a...
“socially minded company that offers stellar marketing and client services
to organizations and businesses across Appalachia and beyond. Internally,
MTM is governed as a creative cooperative that encourages its talented
professionals to own the company they are helping build. This model not
only allows MTM to provide the very best that our industry has to offer, but
it also gives MTM the privilege of being a social enterprise in a transitioning
economy.” (​http://www.mttechmedia.com/about.html​)
This kind of millennial enterprise ought to be broadcast throughout the region and supported
heavily in terms of marketing and branding central Appalachia and its emerging economic
sectors.
Other subsections in the Appalachian and adjacent regions are reaching out very specifically
and with broad strokes to millennials, focusing on quality of life, acceptance, and community.
See these… noting a ​welcoming and a you can be yourself atmosphere:
15
...and…also advertising Asheville...
(​https://www.exploreasheville.com/?utm_source=anywayyoulikeitdomain&utm_medium=urlforw
ard​)
16
A regional working group on supporting the creative economic sector in a subsection of central
Appalachia began on Oct. 29, 2016. Its meeting notes and agendas can be found here:
https://docs.google.com/document/d/15aq1bzM-nKvr1vtqNVCgz5BczXrflMHfzAl0cIx6L8Y/edit?
usp=sharing
**Support qualitative asset-based assessments to develop potential for new
entrepreneurial sectors.**
Economic markets are created by humans and not extra-human forces. With a loss of land
knowledge, sometimes we in central Appalachia do not know the value of what is underneath
our feet.
For example, two time decorated Vietnam Marine Corps Veteran turned longstanding organic
farmer, Sylvester (Sky) Edwards sought ought a place to start an organic farm after his success
in Washington State. He chose the heart of the WV coalfields. He was struck by the potential for
what he called “Appalachian farming,” focused on gathering from the surface high demand and
high priced items such as wild mushrooms, beech nuts, chestnuts, black walnuts, ginseng,
mountain herbs; tapping maple trees for syrup; and managing pastured livestock for soil
improvement and health. He focuses also on return on small capital investments and modes of
business mentorship and cooperation that do not require willing and hardworking participants to
have college degrees.
He partnered with US Military Police veteran Jason Tartt, a Vallscreek, WV native. Their
farm enterprise, a cooperative, is not a pilot or a one-off demonstration project. ​Their 311-acre
farm turns a profit, with new kinds of exports from the hinterland (away from places of
high traffic access) coal and coal adjacent region.
17
Tartt’s and Edwards’ ​Appalachian Farming​ model sells to and fulfills the needs for local, fresh
food but also focuses on export to larger cities such as Columbus, Richmond, Charlotte,
Lexington, Winston-Salem, etc. Tartt and Edwards also cultivate market garden vegetables,
fruits, and honey, and produce goat, chickens, turkeys, and eggs.
Qualitative research and along with a regional publication outlet focused on the region can help
the region discover its latent resources and its off-the-beaten path movers and shaker like
Edwards and Tartt.
This kind of story repeats itself throughout the region in terms of social entrepreneurs being
passed over by local or state governments or passed over by philanthropy or media. We must
support in-the-field discovery of our human resources and promote their connections across the
region.
(a display by ​S​outh Central Educational Development​ in Bluefield, WV on HIV and sexual disease
awareness, from their outreach tailored for local audiences,
https://www.facebook.com/pages/South-Central-Educational-Development-Inc/185598241911)
**As the issue of poor health looms so large in central Appalachia, with a long list
of chronic diseases ranking high, and, the coming anticipation of an explosion of
HIV, Hep B, and Hep C infections, the coordination of public health response
must be key.**
18
A central Appalachian-specific task force ought to be created, with federal
support, and replication potential for other rural regions and
federally-coordinated linkages with other rural regions to:
● Address rural HIV, Hep B and Hep C to prevent even more people in the rural United
States from dying of these diseases.
● Address these crises using place-based knowledges and and through on-the-ground
rural health and prevention providers. Each rural area may require a different
culture-based response. The on-the-ground health and prevention providers have this
local knowledge. One local response is ​Concord University in Athens, WV
rurally-focused Master of Social Work program​, pictured below, which lets local citizens
stay local in order to complete their master’s.
● Implement smaller-scale prevention grants through the Center for Disease Control that
work for the scale of population in rural areas. Current grants are too large and the CDC
passes over rural areas in favor of large urban areas to demonstrate more impact.
● Assume coordination of broad rural subsection response, such as creating
implementation sectors similar to those focused on economic development like the
Appalachian Regional Commission or the Delta Regional Authority, for example.
● Fully fund rural HIV, Hep B and Hep C treatment and prevention response.
● Train workforce and economic developers to partner with prevention and treatment
providers as HIV, Hep B and Hep C also deeply affect rural workforce participation.
● Fund the Comprehensive Addiction & Recovery Act (CARA) to combat the opioid
addiction crisis (currently passed but with no funding)
19
**Create leadership institutes and programs for children and adults at all levels of
society in central Appalachia**
Many texts cite longstanding issues of corruption and cronyism in central Appalachia. Current
qualitative interviews suggest this is the number one issue local citizens wish to be addressed,
as, without leadership, emerging economic sectors will falter, educational institutions will fail,
and the local population continues to lose hope.
Participants at a recent Central Appalachian Network gathering map “anchor” advocacy and practitioner
groups supporting farmers in central Appalachia and work together to improve coordination of effort.
Groups like the ​Central Appalachian Network​ and the ​Appalachian Funders Network​ provide
essential grasstops cross-border leadership in the region and their ​Appalachian Transition
Fellowship​ provides one entry point into grasstops leadership. Yet, more must be done.
However, an extra-statutory (cross-border) approach and coordination of civic leadership or
participation is essential.
20
The low democratic participation myth of extractive communities is indeed a myth, as Norway, a
very extractive-dependent country and economy (by the way, ​with millions of dollars of
investment in West Virginia and Pennsylvania​) is a very democratic country with high levels of
voting and civic participation, and, low levels of corruption.
Until coal became supplanted by oil and gas as a US energy and economic driver (by World
War II), workers in the coalfields actively worked for democracy by advocating for unions,
shorter workdays, benefits, etc.
Although efforts at democratization in central Appalachia were historically corrupted in the post
UMWA formation era, this does not mean they ought not be tried again. Social media, tracking
online corruption through on-the-scene video documentation, etc. changes the scenario for
corruption mapping or reportage.
In order to address this rural region’s many issues, many more people must be trained in how to
assess and to address economic, political, educational, and social change. ​The kinds of
programs the US supports abroad through USAID to promote democratic reform, train
local citizens in democracy, and to promote youth leadership ought to be funded in
central Appalachia.
Last but not least, ​in order to make good land stewardship decisions going forward with
the region’s assets, citizens oughts to be trained in citizen science and citizen evaluation
of proposed resource utilization aka the Denmark ​model of participatory consensus
conferences.​ We must understand the science at work in our region and the technology
proposed before we jump on any pro or con bandwagons.
**Provide more resource support for brownfields research and rehabilitation to
support the emerging agricultural and recreational sectors**
It is not easy to find the correct combination of expertise with respect to anticipating issues of
agriculture for human consumption on former surface mining sites, and, especially, on sites near
current or past deep mines in the central Appalachian coalfields. In our region, ​Chris Barton at
the University of Kentucky ​ is the go-to person on exactly this set of issues.
Both he and scientist David Lang (​Professor of Agronomy – Forage and Pasture Crops, Plant
and Soil Sciences, 320 Dorman Hall Box 9555, Mississippi State, MS 39762,
dlang@pss.MsState.edu​, 1-662-325-8181​ / ​1-662-325-2311) ​are prepared to work with regional
entrepreneurs and governments on safety protocols for recreational and agricultural use in the
coalfields. One note, each site is different and requires different protocol. ​Thus, what works at
one site and is true of one site, may not be true or work at another site. Having good
science and ongoing assessment on each proposed site is key!
Barton shared a preliminary list of protocols for safety, compiled here:
(​http://www.hinterlandcoalition.org/i-get-it/protocol-for-ag-land-use-on-former-surface-and-lowlan
d-mine-sitescoalfields-region/​)
If products are marketed as “Appalachian” but are hinted at to not be safe (and we can
anticipate competitors will indeed do this), all our marketing and markets building
regardless of actual production location can be ruined.
21
**Fund regional educational coordination for emerging regional economic
sectors**
Create regional educational coalitions and conferences to address the range of emerging
training needs for the emerging economic sectors. Centralize a system for credit participation,
where students may earn credit or degrees through credits earned at various locations. Support
a range of regional initiatives addressing professional development. For example, in the
sustainable agricultural sector in our region, this gray text box highlights potential participants in
regional agricultural sector educational coordination.
Category: Sustainable Agriculture
Professional Guilds
Apprenticeships & Internships with Professional Farmers
Farm Incubation
Nonprofits
Ag for Food Security, gardening,relearning heritage skills
Ag Economics and Business Planning
Elementary Schools
Middle Schools/Junior High Schools
High Schools
Community Colleges
Community College non-degree seeking Seminars, Training Programs
Four Year Colleges
Graduate Universities
Or produce regional plans for education and coordination. Here was one attempt:
(​https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1gbdX8c17GHBmJ7BLQCP3IDDzN2EPHyk3oVNQut
DcOdA/edit#gid=1330209429​)
22
We can convene and connect active “anchor” groups and look to models that are working in or
adjacent to the region. For example, the Blue Ridge Plateau and its parent group, ​Grayson
Landcare​, focus on local food systems and the agricultural economy in three Southwest Virginia
counties. This local model can be built upon for more cross-regional connection and points of
common ground in the region. (​http://graysonlandcare.org/our-work/)
**Go out and look for innovation and entrepreneurship in the region--don’t wait
for it to come to you. Then, support it!**
Some of the best projects in the West Virginia coalfields region remained largely unknown to
each other until recently (and they learned about each other not from regional reporting but from
the Washington Post!), and certainly, to the wider coalfield region until recently.
Rather than waiting to be approached for funding, foundations and federal and state
groups ought to go out into the community and find projects and businesses making it
despite the odds (such as McDowell County Farms) and reach out beyond the usual
suspects in terms of their funding. This is similar to the approach taken by USAID in the early
post-Soviet years in the former Soviet Union--USAID representatives went out and looked for
projects to fund rather than waiting on them to come to them...
Likewise, they ought to fund asset-based qualitative interviews, like those accomplished by
Professor Ellen Darden at Concord University with their master in rural social work students, in
order to uncover not-your-usual suspect problems needing addressing and not-your-usual
suspect solutions being provided in the community.
23
Governments, foundations, and universities must provide technical assistance for
non-professional managers not frequenting the same social circles and loops as current central
Appalachian focused private foundations or the federal government or universities--some of the
best ideas and projects in places hardest hit and most in need are by people not running in
those circles.
**Support “Appalachian Innovation” or rural models of innovation**
“Appalachian Innovation” like McDowell County Farms’ “Appalachian farming” blends heritage
skills with 20th Century technical know-how for 21st Century purposes.
An oft-recounted story by the ​Williamson Redevelopment Authority​ in Mingo County, WV is of a
local surgeon who needed his inventions fabricated. He looked first outside the region and then
found that local welders and fabricators formerly associated with the energy industry could
produce what he needed at a much better cost. Thus, 20th Century technology and know-how
was used for 21st Century invention.
24
Silicon Valley models of innovation are often inappropriate for rural areas. The real
opportunity in rural and overly-developed rural areas such as the coalfields is to bring
together these three kinds of knowledge--heritage, modern, and future--for solving
current and future needs.
This approach can also be used to engage areas in community-based technology and for
solving local issues with technical solutions created and produced locally.
**Address the elephants in the room**
Identity
Our relationships to each other and to place evolve. Prior to the rise of coalfield identity in
central Appalachia in the 1880s, people in subsections of our region identified in various ways:
Southerners, pioneers, sharecroppers, with their families or kin, with their professions, with their
states, etc. Prior to this, Europeans in the region were trappers, surveyors, or soldiers--and the
peoples who worked on and lived on, and loved, this land prior to European involvement are
mostly gone from the region, removed through death, conquest and war, or by forced migration.
Thus, an “Ur” (proto, primal, or original) claim to Appalachia by many current residents highlights
the complexities and even complications of place-based identity.
Treading in and out of much central Appalachia place-based identity also is a strong masculine
work identity: a coal mining family is defined as such because the men in that family work/ed in
the mines. Every family member becomes part of the mining technology that is the coal miner
himself.
Identities shift and change...and we can redefine relationships and region to suit our current
emerging modes and participants in work. We can come together to articulate common vision,
common mission, and common values with respect to our self-descriptions and our current and
future stewardship to land for which we find ourselves responsible either by choice or by
industrial overdevelopment and abandonment. We can become a sustainable agriculture region,
or as a farmer in Greenbrier County, WV wished West Virginia to be, “a new Vermont.” We can
become a cultural, liquor, environmental, recreational and farm tourist region.
We can redefine our region and make new subsections through new connections or rekindling
broader or older ones. We can embrace shrinkage, degrowth, and small as positives and we
can embrace right size (snapshot of regional population and other trends ​here​).
With respect to the coalfields, many more people have left the coalfields than remain. Health
care is the number one employer in most central Appalachian states. The emerging economic
sectors highlighted in this white paper point to other potential family or work-based identities
within grasp.
How ought we come together to form common purpose and common vision for this common
ground? A regional envisioning summit? A branding and marketing campaign? Theorized
through public intellectuals? Sold to by country music or country capitalized marketing? Dictated
to by largescale no employee industries?
Just as these prior “Appalachian” identities were not forever, is coalfield identity forever? Is
Appalachia forever? How else could or ought political, personal, economic, and cultural
connections form regions or subregions in or out of central Appalachia? What marks our
emerging identities?
25
Race and class
Despite the longstanding rhetoric that “we were all the same in the mines,” race and class
remain large dividing factors in most Appalachian communities. Though the population in
particular of African Americans in much of rural central Appalachia has declined, their
population remains significantly active, especially in the West Virginia coal and coal adjacent
region.
One recent breakthrough includes the first African American elected to mayor of the McDowell
County, WV town of Northfork (presiding mayor ​Marcus Wilkes​) who also won a second term.
Despite this highlight, very rural sections of central Appalachia with African Americans
receive less state funding, less national attention, and African Americans and groups of
other races often remain invisible at academic, federal, state, nonprofit, and other
conferences, in media in the region and beyond, especially lacking recognition for and in
positions of leadership.
Likewise, the continued underclass of central Appalachian residents continue to be targets of
mixed local feelings, especially of the region’s remaining middle and upper classes.
Though charity exists, systemic changes for integration into the new emerging economies often
remain elusive. However, one highlight includes the ​Grow Appalachia ​program with its focus on
food security, and that as some participants re-learn heritage skills in food production and
preservation, Grow Appalachia has become a path to farm entrepreneurship.
However, such as with the water crisis in central West Virginia in 2014 affecting the
capacity for food relief supplied by food donations, the region teeters close to the edge if
any one system (federal, nonprofit, or faith-based) relief stream should fail.
We need rural policies that focus on solutions for employment and that make hard choices.
Maybe relocation packages such as those proposed under Medvedev in Russia as suggested
by the World Bank (as metro areas will continue to offer more employment opportunities in the
coming decades)?
Certainly, open and frank discussions must occur regarding the difference between a mode of
rural living focused on homesteading and self-sufficiency, production for export, the continued
shrinking of local economic purchasing markets, and the models of continued economic relief.
Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Asexual (LGBTQA)
Just as race and class divides exist, the recent spate of marriage inequality attempts and
restroom gender laws create a hostile atmosphere to the ​LGBTQA community. In order for rural
regions to prosper, or even, not dwindle away, they must engage all of their citizens.
Programs aimed specifically at supporting the central Appalachian ​LGBTQA community ought
to be funded. In the profile of foundation donations, gifts that support diversity ought to be
highlighted and promoted. The economic power of this group also ought to be highlighted and
promoted as a potential regional driver.
Lose rotten rhetoric in order to bridge land and identity
Likely most toxic in central Appalachia sits the us versus them rhetoric of both the energy sector
(against the EPA, the federal government, and environmentalists) and the environmental justice
sector against the energy industry and its participants (MTR, climate change, health disparities).
The allegiances of local people in coal country have shifted post-1980s from a union orientation
to a company orientation, with the adversarial relationship with coal management replaced by
26
an adversarial orientation to regulation. The technological changes to the industry to reduce
human worker need is absconded in this post-Reagan rhetoric.
Models of land stewardship, linking to pre-coal heritage and identity, bridging interests in
rural life and hunting, fishing, and forest harvesting may offer ways to bridge the
sympathies of local residents and heal the rotten rhetoric highlighted in the photos
below. Agriculture and the region’s livestock production history offers a path to land
connection that resonates with central Appalachians. Central Appalachia was once a
silvopasture based region (after settlement and post the boom and bust of trapping).
It is possible to be empathetic to the environmental and health results to people and the land
due to coal production AND be empathetic to the miners and others who lose high wage work.
If one marches for land, when does one come back and march for health? For support for
people who inject drugs and for solutions to the HIV, Hep B and Hep C crises? For
support for the emerging possible emerging central Appalachian economic sectors?
27
(​http://www.nbcnews.com/id/34492139/ns/us_news-environment/t/violence-next-mountaintop-mi
ning-battle/#.V9mVNJMrLfA​)
(http://www.alamy.com/stock-photo-christian-aid-choir-says-coal-kills-climate-chaos-coalition-cc
c-at-29969456.html​)
28
As the population dwindles in our subsection of rural America, and, with the opportunities to
build on the emerging economic sectors highlighted in this white paper, we must focus on ways
to connect with one another and to forgo rotten rhetoric. There are not enough of us to remain at
odds. We must instead focus on getting the work done, creating work and markets that cannot
be automated away or off-shored, and finding common points of identity and ethics we can
abide by together.
Factionalism and Romanticizing the Past
Town or county and grasstops rivalry and/or even state rivalry permeates the region. Qualitative
interviews point to issues of “not being able to get everyone on board” or of innovative or
creative ideas receiving little local support in lieu of reminiscing about the good old days (often
prior to 1970). Rather than waiting for local or regional consensus, agreement, or praise, those
people motivated to work together and to move forward with economic policies embodied in
actual on-the-ground projects that may allow community survival ought to connect and keep
moving; those wrapped up in factionalism and/or romanticising a former golden era can come
along later when they are ready.
Soil and Water Health and Strange as this Weather Has Been
Without healthy soil or healthy water, we cannot build on an agricultural or pastoral past for a
lively and autonomous future. Coordinating across borders and developing agricultural and land
use protocol and education across the region for soil and water health is key to producing
agripreneurs who can steward both our rural land and economy into the future.
Given the recent flooding in central Appalachia, droughts in other sections, and our recent
redesignation in terms of USDA growing zones, we must seriously consider unpredictable
weather as a factor in the kinds of long-term enterprise success we seek. Will this project done
this way be resilient given highly erratic weather?
(from:
http://www.latinpost.com/articles/121922/20160628/west-virginia-flood-news-23-reported-dead-hundreds-left-homeless-with-more-st
orms-feared-on-the-way.htm​)
29
**Build and support true jobs models, in every emerging sector**
Large-scale industries seek efficiency and to eliminate labor by humans. Humans unionize, get
sick, demand health insurance, need retirement payments, take time off, need vacation, can
produce errors, etc.
This directive remains as true in clean energy as in coal or other energy sectors, or in large
manufacturing, etc. Clean energy is important for many urgent environmental reasons, but also
does not offer a long-term jobs solution.
Refer again to the US Bureau of Labor report regarding the high likelihood of jobs making less
than $20 an hour being replaced by robots in the coming decades.
Emerging economic sectors in our region must focus on high-touch sectors in which human
labor and management still remain relevant into the future.
Moreover, ​places that have not yet been developed by multiple industries or by a single sector,
or even a single operation, ought to be required to create a sunset fund to set money aside for
relocation and retraining of workers and their families once they are no longer needed either
due to technological advancement or the end of operations at that site​. This is separate from the
severance taxes on industries such as coal, which states can choose to have allocated or
dispersed beyond the immediately affected workers or location. Countries such as Sweden and
Japan have developed sunset fund requirements for factories or operations locating into
previously non-industrial rural areas, with the understanding that no operation lasts forever, and
that the burden of retraining and relocating ought not be externalized onto the state.
Furthermore, the workers who relocated to work in that factory ought not be responsible for
bearing the burden of relocating after the factory or industrial site closes or downsizes (as is
expected that it will). Likewise, all of the accompanying businesses, schools, and instutional and
real infrastructure built to serve the needs of people associated either directly or through locale
with that industry must also have plans in place for the eventual downsizing due to technological
or industry shift.
**Understand the resource wealth and follow their markets. Develop economic
policies and procedures irrespective of supposed technological “advance.”**
Despite energy company bankruptcies and asset shift in the central Appalachian and adjacent
region, as this region remains resource wealthy, companies are unlikely to shed their land
assets. Thus, unlike urban depopulating areas with land opening up for complete repurposing in
and by a different economic sector (think brownfield into a museum or housing development into
an urban farm), lands currently owned by resource companies mainly will remain owned by
resource companies (think coal to timber, coal to natural gas, coal to water, maybe coal to rare
earth elements--still resource driven).
Anticipation of future use due to the development of technologies that provide access to or
demand for mineral or other resource wealth remains a standard expectation in the energy
sector.​ For example, new technologies give access to below-the-surface minerals previously
inaccessible; new processes allow for cost effective refining of materials once either too cheap
to harvest (no profit incentive) or too costly (can be gotten elsewhere).
This technological determinist stance anticipates technology will always evolve to reactivate
“fallow” resources.
30
Likewise, the US’ cultural anticipation of technology always producing positive economic impact
and new economic sectors arising fully to replace antiquated or shifting sectors does not bear
out in workforce, environmental, or population statistics, especially in central Appalachia.
In the coal producing regions proper, the emerging economic sectors (agricultural, liquor, tourist,
and creative community sectors) must contend with limited access to land and buildings for their
sectors. In the case of agricultural cooperative McDowell County Farms, they lease land from a
coal-based land company in order to Appalachian “farm” and to quintuple their available
acreage.
This series of maps gives an overview of certain sections of central Appalachia’s energy
resources. ​Understanding the larger picture can assist with predicting future economic trends.
Last but not least, worth stating again is that ALL larger scale industries focus on technological
advancements that eliminate workers. A key question becomes, for the remaining people living
in the region, what kind of work ought they have that could maintain into the future? Or steward
future generations?
****
Note the timber wealth in Appalachia and the Southeast more generally, both for wood and
wood product harvesting and for ​biomass.
(​http://www.seesouthernforests.org/discover-southern-forests/benefits/ecosystem​)
31
(​The larger brown circles show sources for producing wood pellets to export to Europen,
https://www.southernenvironment.org/cases-and-projects/biomass-energy-in-the-south​)
Kentucky is not touched by natural gas reserves, but most of Appalachia is. See below.
32
Our region is teeming with trace elements, or rare earth elements. Mining them usually is a
small footprint. Though we have much capacity for mining REE, their low cost from China keeps
this from being profitable right now.
Coal remains a very abundant US resource. It is unlikely it will be completely put out of use
given its abundance in the US and in the world, especially in developing economies. Energy
companies will continue to invest in technology to anticipate coal coming online again, but,
technology will replace human workers when it can be used.
33
Natural gas is debated as to whether it is clean energy, as its carbon emissions as an industry
rank just below that of coal. Note the prevalence of access to natural gas in our
region--technology has allowed companies to access what once was not accessible. Given its
abundance, it is unlikely to be removed from an energy mix. Also, it is an export product, moved
through largely poorer communities by rail.
34
Oil remains a central Appalachian resource.
This kind of resource overview is essential to understanding economic sector and political
allegiances in our region.
Again, ​as large commodity industries, ALL of these industries will continue to focus on
technological solutions to access, production, transportation, etc. in lieu of hiring workers​.
35
Last but not least, there is tremendous pressure on research universities and their economic
development departments in central Appalachia to develop technology that will allow the
sustainable and clean use of fossil fuels and the commodification of the region’s timber, water,
and other resources both directly for use in large scale industry and by the government
(institutions and military) and indirectly through externalized industrial costs (processes
developed to allow industry to have their environmental impact or training or retraining costs
paid by taxpayers rather than directly by industry). Very importantly, both corporate and federal
contracts and grants (such as through the Department of Energy and the Department of
Defense) offer tremendous support and incentive for this devotion of research foci and
economic development department resources.
Cheap energy provides the backbone for our current economic model and enables nearly all of
our other current economic sectors. That energy remain cheap and plentiful is not only an
industrial and economic imperative, but also an internal and external security one. Thus, the
interest in central Appalachia’s abundant energy resources will always include national and
international interests, as just this map of West Virginia’s international investment alone alludes.
(​http://www.wvcommerce.org/App_Media/assets/doc/businessandworkforce/Intl/Investment_Fla
g_Map_2014.pdf​)
36
To insist upon the refocusing of regional research and economic development resources toward
supporting economic sectoral development in which workers will not be displaced by technology
is not to demand some Luddite throwback to another era. Instead, it is but a shift in the goals of
efficiency and technical direction and service. Nearly every research university in central
Appalachia is a public university, and, with significant taxpayer support and tasked with
developing work and workers for our region’s economic future, also ethically bound to serve the
region’s people. This means work for generations, rather than work that will inevitably, sooner
rather than later, be displaced.
The region’s university-based research ought to supporting economic sectors and developing
work, financial, political, and community processes that will not displace workers with technology
and which will address land, water, and community stewardship imperatives. This kind and
quality of support is also possible to incentivize through federal grants and corporate contracts;
however, it must find willing, organized, articulate, vocal, theoretical and fact and
modeling-based advocates.
Conclusion
The issues affecting central Appalachia are not unique and are being experienced in many rural
places across the United States. In an ideal situation, the United States would not continue to
subsume national rural policy more generally under agricultural policy as it now does (including
economic policy) under the Farm Bill. We would join nations such as Canada, Chile, Finland,
France, and Korea with explicit national rural policies or plans.
However, in the absence of such explicit national policy regarding rural economic development,
this white paper outlines potential policies to be worked on jointly in the central Appalachian
region by stakeholders such as nonprofits, local governments, educational institutions, etc. If
individual states or legislators or legislatures choose not to engage, then other regional
grasstops or faith-based constituents should move forward with cross-border and extra-statutory
connections and coordination.
If, thus far in time, the central Appalachian states have not comprehensively and thoroughly
addressed the issues outlined in the background section of this white paper, regional grasstops
ought to commit to working in subsections of the region that make sense and make their work
more effective. The federal government ought to continue its support of cross-border and
extra-statutory work in the realm of rural economic development for the reasons outlined above
regarding the need to connect to adjacent subsections with more financial and earning
experience in these emerging economic sectors.
In addition to forming regional policy and coordination on issues of health, declining population
and smart shrinkage, and explicit discussion of regional vision, economic sectors, and the kinds
of jobs to be supported in the region, we must connect to other similar rural regions and work
together. We must stop hyper-exceptionalizing Appalachia in terms of its long list of problems,
and instead look up and around and out, and connect to rural places across the country and the
world in similar straits. We learn and can become more together than in regional factions.
Moreover, the history of a coalfield identity and employment is relatively short-lived with the
boom beginning in 1888 and employment peaking nearly one hundred years ago. Identities and
their social markers evolve; it is time for central Appalachia to stretch its strong work-affiliated
identity through other economic sectors, linking to and building on an agricultural and pastoral
past and embracing emerging sectors and long-standing cultural strengths for a creative,
neighborly, and hospitable future.
37
Everything proposed in this white paper is a potential solution and approach that can be
used in other rural areas of the country…
We must move beyond the politically-created and politically-motivated statutory and
even county or town borders to collaborate, cooperate, and coordinate for the survival
and the potential for “thrival” in our increasingly rural region. We must build on our
connections and identities moving forward. We cannot go it alone, not as individual
people, communities, or states. We must create means and ways of working together,
with or without outside assistance. Likewise, we must bridge our differences locally and
work together, or, die out one by one, as we already have seen other communities and
people go.
Additional Selected Works Cited
Anderson, Benedict. ​Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism. Verso
Books, 2006.
Bauman, Zygmunt. ​Community: Seeking Safety in an Insecure World. Cambridge, UK: Polity Press,
2011.
Bell, Shannon. “‘There Ain’t No Bond in Town Like There Used to Be’: The Destruction of Social
Capital in the West Virginia Coal Fields.” ​Sociological Forum 24, no. 3 (September 2009): 631–57.
Breslau, Daniel. “Economics Invents the Economy: Mathematics, Statistics, and Models in the Work of
Irving Fisher and Wesley Mitchell.” ​Theory and Society 32, no. 3 (2003): 379–411.
Bridger, Jeffrey C., and A. E. Luloff. “Building the Sustainable Community: Is Social Capital the
Answer?” ​Social Inquiry 71, no. 4 (2001): 458–72.
Brown, David L., Louis E. Swanson, and Alan W. Barton. ​Challenges for Rural America in the Twenty
First Century. University Park: Pennsylvania State University Press, 2003.
Browne, William P. ​The Failure of National Rural Policy. Washington: Georgetown University
Press, 2001.
Callon, Michel. “What Does It Mean to Say That Economics Is Performative?” In ​Do Economists Make
Markets? On the Performativity of Economics, edited by Donald MacKenzie, Fabian Muniesa, and
Lucia Siu, 311–57. Princeton, N.J: Princeton University Press, 2007.
Campbell, Hugh, Michael Mayerfeld Bell, and Margaret Finney, eds. ​Country Boys : Masculinity and
Rural Life, 2006.
Cook, S., and B. Taylor. “Academics, Activism, and Place-Based Education in the Appalachian Coal
Belt.” ​Special Issue of Practicing Anthropology 23, no. 2 (2001): 1–32.
38
Di John, Jonathan. “Is There Really a Resource Curse? A Critical Survey of Theory and Evidence.”
Global Governance 17, no. 2 (2011): 167–84.
Duncan, Cynthia. ​Worlds Apart: Why Poverty Persists in Rural America. New Haven: Yale University
Press, 1999.
Fischer, Frank. ​Citizens, Experts, and the Environment: The Politics of Local Knowledge. Durham, NC:
Duke, 2000.
Fisher, Stephen L., and Barbara Ellen Smith. ​Transforming Places: Lessons from Appalachia.
Champaign-Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2012.
Foucault, Michel. ​Society, Territory, Population. Lectures at the Collège de France, 1977-78. London:
Picador, 2007.
Freudenburg, William. “Addictive Economies: Extractive Industries and Vulnerable Localities in a
Changing World Economy.” ​Rural Sociology 57, no. 5 (1991): 305–32.
High, Steven. “Capital and Community Reconsidered: The Politics and Meaning of Deindustrialization.”
Labour/Le Travail 55 (2005): 187–96.
Hughes, Thomas P. “The Evolution of Large Technological Systems.” In ​The Social Construction of
Technological Systems: New Directions in the Sociology and History of Technology, edited by
Wiebe Bijker, Thomas Hughes, and Trevor Pinch, 51–82. Cambridge: MIT Press, 1987.
Hulme, Mike. ​Why We Disagree about Climate Change. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2009.
Leadbeater, David. 2008. ​Mining Town Crisis: Globalization, Labour and Resistance in Sudbury.
Halifax: Fernwood Pub.
Ledet, Richard. “Correlates of Corruption.” In ​Public Integrity, 13, 2:149–62, 2011.
Lobao, Linda. “Social Science Generalizations and Old Industrial Regions: The Case of the Ohio River
Valley.” ​Environment and Planning A Environ Plan A30, no. 4 (1998): 571–75.
Mitchell, Timothy. ​Carbon Democracy: Political Power in the Age of Oil. New York: Verso, 2011.
Reichert Powell, Douglas. ​Critical Regionalism: Connecting Politics and Culture in an American
Landscape. Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 2007.
Reid, Herbert, and Betsy Taylor. “Appalachia as a Global Region: Toward a Critical Regionalism and
Civic Professionalism.” ​Journal of Appalachian Studies 8:1, no. Spring 2002 (n.d.): 9–32.
Schumpeter, Joseph. ​Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy, 1947–2010.
Scott, James. ​Seeing Like a State: How Certain Schemes to Improve the Human Condition Have Failed.
39
New Haven: Yale University Press, 1998.
Scott, Rebecca R. ​Removing Mountains: Extracting Nature and Identity in the Appalachian Coalfields.
Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2010.
Stafford, Thomas. ​Afflicting the Comfortable: Journalism and Politics in West Virginia. Morgantown,
WV: West Virginia University Press, 2005.
von Hippel, Eric. ​Democratizing Innovation. Cambridge, Mass: MIT Press, n.d.
Winner, Landon. ​The Whale and the Reactor: A Search for Limits in an Age of High Technology.
Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1986.
Overview of groups/people working on what in the region ​from a regional approach
Agriculture and Food Hubs
Central Appalachian Network
WV Food and Farm Coalition
Community Farm Alliance
Appalachian Sustainable Development
Appalachian Center for Economic Works
HIV, Hep B, Hep C
South Central Educational Development Inc.
Chronic Disease
Education
Entrepreneurship and Social Entrepreneurship
Mountain Association for Community Economic Development
Creative Economies and Communities
Mountain Association for Community Economic Development
Marketing and Branding
Regional Vision and Envisioning
Central Appalachian Network
Grayson LandCare
Tourism
Cultural Tourism
40
Acknowledgments
Thank you so much to people who have been particularly supportive in providing input,
ideas, solid approaches, and solid thoughts to my evolving research, outreach, and
shaping of policy potentials and approaches. With particular thanks to:
Jim Collier, Virginia Tech
Barbara Ellen Smith, Virginia Tech
Rebecca Hester, Virginia Tech
Ellen Darden, Concord University
Darryl Cannady, South Central Educational Development Inc.
Kathlyn Terry, Appalachian Sustainable Development
Jerry Moles, Grayson Landcare, SustainFloyd, and Blue Ridge Plateau
Lori McKinney, RiffRaff Arts Collective
The folks at the Mingo County Diabetes Coalition and Williamson Redevelopment Authority
Dwight Emrich in Hinton
Wytheville Community College
The folks at McDowell County Farms
Mayor Marcus Wilkes
Edward Marshall, We Are All Farmers and Pockerchicory Farms
...and the many other people who have let me interview them, pester them for information or
direction, attend their meetings, go to their conferences, or have pointed me and engaged me
toward resources or intellectual direction….Thank you!
Author Biography
A National Science Foundation Graduate Fellow and Fulbright alumna, Crystal Cook Marshall is
a PhD candidate at Virginia Tech with a focus on hinterland community and economic
development. Her case study has included qualitative interviews and participant observations in
southern West Virginia, southwest Virginia, central West Virginia, eastern Kentucky, and in
Washington, DC. Her survey, focus group work, and participant research include I-77 North
Carolina. Data sets are drawn primarily from a fifty-county set of rural counties stretching from
Montgomery County, VA to McCreary County, KY. Theoretical considerations are drawn
primarily from science and technology studies in society, rural studies, urban geography,
regional studies, Appalachian studies, philosophy of technology, policy studies, discard studies,
risk studies, and sociology.
Originally from West Virginia, Cook Marshall is Barnard College, Columbia University alumna.
She anticipates defending her dissertation spring 2017 and has master’s degrees from the New
School (pedagogy) and from Antioch University of Los Angeles (writing). Before returning to
Appalachia, she worked as an educator, writer, and nonprofit executive. Additionally, she and
her husband farm in North Carolina.
Cook Marshall can be reached at ​crystalacook@vt.edu​, (704) 978 9404.
41

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RethinkingRegionWhatOughtWeDoAboutCentralAppalachiaARuralCaseStudy (2)

  • 1. Rethinking Region: What Ought We Do About Central Appalachia? White paper exploring major current issues in rural America and what to do about them, including: **focusing on economic sectors in which jobs will not be automated away **creating a federal task force on rural health **creating a national rural policy separate from the Farm Bill to address approaches to rural issues **moving past polarizing and rotten rhetoric **contending with work-related identity issues and much more... Introduction / Summary Poverty, poor health, low education, and low civic participation statistics, facts, and realities abound regarding central Appalachia, this now largely low populated subsection of the US Southeast. Arising from six years of qualitative and quantitative research as well as theory-based scholarship, this paper outlines a number of key regional as well as national rural issues and what ought or could be done to further address them. Background / Problems Low population With declining local clientele for local for-profit businesses and the issue of low population density rural or hinterland nonprofits competing against high population density urban areas for federal and state assistance or private foundation funds, the low and declining population of central Appalachia and many of its adjacent regions (such as Southside Virginia) handicap business and nonprofit competitiveness and nonprofits’ measures of quantitative impact.
  • 2. Note the balance and location of reasonably current (last 25 years) of agricultural land and timber potential, and urban locations. Note that along the 36th parallel just south of Norfolk, VA (the red dot on VA’s southern coast) you can travel almost ten hours (600 miles) without hitting a “developed (urban) area (Bowling Green, KY is the next urban area west on that parallel). This is truer now than when this map was produced. Also, many agricultural sectors in adjacent areas to link to! (​http://landcovertrends.usgs.gov/east/regionalSummary.html​) Low and declining population is and will remain a key struggle in the central Appalachian region as it builds on emerging economic sectors. There is no national discussion of “right size” for the rural, or, how many people this economic sector in this place truly can support. For example, from Montgomery County, VA to McCreary County, KY across 50 counties, the sum of that population is less than that of metro Pittsburgh. As our rural population continues to decline, we must find ways to bridge sectors across state lines and to bridge our interests. There are simply not enough local residents for economic sector participants to compete. Everyone must be brought to the table and engaged. Many inter- and cross-regional alliances across economic sectors must be jumpstarted to produce economic viability for the large rural sections of our region. What ought our stance be regarding our declining and continuing to decline population? Coordination and support of additional economic sectors beyond energy Beginning with the first land surveys completed of the region, the federal government and the newly forming state governments were acutely interested in sources of energy for transportation, domestic use, and for export. Prior to the creation of the US Geological survey in 1879, individual central Appalachian states conducted geological surveys to assess the capacity for the growth of mineral industries here. Until the 1970s the US government provided many tax incentives to mineral industries and also supported much mineral energy sector industrial research through agencies like the US Bureau of Mines (active 1910 - 1996) and today through the Department of Energy, the US Geological Survey, etc.. Though subject to market and demand flux, the mineral sector and energy sector emerged as a fully developed sector in central Appalachia by 1920. The quantity and quality of federal and state support for non-mineral economic sectors in central Appalachia, and, in some coal adjacent areas--a non-tobacco agricultural sector--historically has not matched the financial, industrial research, or tax support for the energy sector. For example, the region can be broken into primary historical economic interests, and, these specific economic interests have often superseded local and state governmental power as regional power structures (think the power of a king, then reflect on the analogy and power of King Coal). For example the nonprofit-business sector collaboration in the Pittsburgh metro region, the Power of 32, defines its service and economic area ​by media market.​ The gas industry by ​shale plays​. The coal industry by coterminous ​coalfields​. In our regional subsection, coalfields or shale plays or media markets often define cultural, interpersonal, and business relationships. To this, add in proximity to major metropolitan areas, and, according to economic and urban geography literature, most areas within an hour of commute from a city (within a commutershed) usually find much of their economy tied to production or in relationship with their closest urban center. Political allegiances and alliances in central Appalachia followed and often continue to follow these geographical-industrial or business sector orientations. 1
  • 3. How can redefine the sector flows and central Appalachian regional economic sector flows beyond energy, media, and urban commutersheds? How ought we? Political influence has often followed the money and how industries cross borders in our region. The region can be broken down along economic sectors or main industries nearly as much as it can be along state lines. ​Imagine political and economic influence broken down less by state borders and more by economic and political drivers. These maps offer some guidance... West Virginia-Pennsylvania-Ohio natural gas sector. The red and blue sectors also reveal political and money alliances irrespective of state borders... (​http://www.marcellus.psu.edu/resources/maps.php​) 2
  • 4. Central West Virginia (Cabell, Kanawha, Putnam, Wayne, Marshall counties) often follows the leads of the chemical industry, and the world’s largest player--Bayer-Monsanto--has a significant presence there (​http://www.wvcommerce.org/business/topsites/colocation.aspx​): 3
  • 5. The Pocahontas Coalfields form another subset of regional political orientation, industrial, and worker orientation. (​http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2002/of02-105/fig7.gif) Media market maps are useful tools to determine how businesses, people, commerce, and traffic connects in a regional subsection, and how politicians relate to one another and connect. 4
  • 6. The Charleston-Huntington, WV Media Market mirrors voting demographic shifts. 5
  • 7. Map from “How Central Appalachia went Right” at http://www.dailyyonder.com/how-coalfields-went-gop/2015/01/13/7668/​. The Tennessee Valley Authority also demarcates other regional connections... Promoting and marketing the region Authenticity is a complicated yet essential construct with respect to promoting products produced for or from rural producers. For better or worse, central Appalachia has identity markers internally and to the nation upon which it currently, as a whole, does not capitalize. Looking to the future and the growth of the millennial sector in the marketplace, for attracting significant clientele and even perhaps population stabilization or attracting new inhabitants, the region needs coordinated branding of, and to link beyond the immediate central Appalachian region, its agricultural, liquor, tourist, and creative community sectors. How ought we brand and market our regional emerging economic sectors? Who ought to participate in this branding and marketing? How people in the region consider themselves, rethinking regional alliances 6
  • 8. Coal mining on any scale occurred in much of central Appalachia for the first time in the 1880s, with coal-related employment peaking by the late 1920s. Technological advances such as the continuous miner (machine) in coal production and its wide adoption in the 1950s, and the later introduction of large surface mining equipment, made the re-introduction of significant coal employment untenable. In this respect, central Appalachians continue to heavily identify with an economic sector no longer producing viable employment, and, which prior to the 1880s, if from the region, their families most likely did not engage in. However, emerging economic sectors such as sustainable agriculture, liquor, tourist, and creative community sectors link to adjacent regions such as Southside Virginia, I-77 and NW North Carolina, and even rural economic trends more broadly in the Southeast, such as the emerging agricultural sector in the high unemployment rural PeeDee region of South Carolina. How ought we broaden our work-associated central Appalachian identities? Coordination of public health response Central Appalachia is targeted by the Centers for Disease Control for an explosion of HIV, Hep B and Hep C, and in this respect, is similar to other low populated regions of the United States. Currently, little federal coordination of the response to rural HIV, Hep B or Hep C exists, and, likewise, little extra-statutory coordination of response to these diseases exists in central Appalachia. (T​he attached map of CDC data on where HIV is hit to explode in central Appalachia and adjacent areas. From ​an article in the Guardian, July 31, 2016.​) How ought we respond across the region to this public health crisis? Lack of leadership Low trust exists among the population of their elected leaders. Alternatively, no current thriving center exists in the West Virginia or Virginia subsections of central Appalachia to train residents in civic leadership or participation or to encourage or train locals to run for state or local office. How ought we build leaders in our region? Brownfields research and rehabilitation for other economic sectors 7
  • 9. The research for brownfield rehabilitation for agricultural and recreational use in the coalfield region is not coordinated, and, according to rehabilitation scientists, what is known often is not sufficient to guarantee public safety of consumable products. How do we guarantee safety of edibles produced in the coalfield and energy producing sections of our region? Educational coordination Little to no extra-statutory (cross-border) coordination exists in the region for education pertaining to the emerging economic sectors of agriculture, liquor, tourism, and creative communities, or, regionally-focused marketing and branding of these sectors. The education that does exist is not tiered, in which case it would provide appropriate entry point education for novices or the unemployed as well as professional development for experienced professionals in these emerging sectors. Furthermore, the education for novices often is not tied to market imperatives or predicting upcoming trends. How ought we coordinate and create education in our region for emerging economic sectors? Innovation and entrepreneurship in the region Central Appalachians take much personal risk with respect to physically demanding labor and personal consumption habits. However, the boom and bust single sector energy economy promoted dependence upon a single sector for employment. Often appropriate emerging economic sector risk is not well-supported by state, federal, or private foundation or bank funding or by educational institutions. How do we gain more educational and financial support for entrepreneurial risk in central Appalachia? Solutions In order to address the issues outlined under ● Low population ● Coordination and support of additional economic sectors beyond energy ● Promoting and marketing the region ● How people in the region consider themselves, rethinking regional alliances a shift in economic, business, marketing, nonprofit, private foundation, and institutional policy and approach in this region should include: **Large scale extra-statutory (across state border) coordination and support for emerging economic sectors. **Provide concrete meetings, support, and policies for promoting cross-border and extra-statutory approaches in economic and community development, with incentives to link to more prosperous adjacent regions** Create a regional investors’ circle** For example, the recent Appalachian Regional Commission POWER grant to Appalachian Sustainable Development qualifies as support for an emerging regional economic sector, and ought to be a model for regional and extra-regional collaborations beyond state borders. Additionally, this support out to include real and material support for regional connections of economies, marketing efforts, nonprofit programming, and funding and health institutions. We must break and fund beyond the statutory borders in the same way that other regional sectors (coal and tobacco) did and do, and, connect beyond central Appalachia to adjacent emerging and thriving sectors. 8
  • 10. (http://www.timesnews.net/News/2016/08/26/ARC-grant-to-boost-ASD-food-jobs-initiative​) This continued sectoral assistance for emerging regional economic sectors and regional coordination of the agricultural, liquor, tourist, and creative community sectors ought to be comprehensive in terms of logistics, export, demand, branding, marketing, etc. For example, the emerging creative communities (​Fayetteville, WV,​ ​Lewisburg, WV​, ​Hinton, WV​, ​Princeton, WV,​ ​Galax, VA​, ​Floyd, VA​, ​Elkin, NC​, ​Charleston, WV​ and ​Abingdon, VA​) ought to be marketed together as a Creative Corridor. This corridor ought to be supported as a regional economic sector. They ought to work together on branding/marketing this "Creative Corridor" through a tourist map, website, and public relations potentially for an “Appalachian Artist Trail” or “Creative Trail.” There ought to be cross-promotion of festivals, events, etc. Imagine a creative trail and new creative emerging economies working together in this kind of “Creative Corridor” for current and emerging artists, artisans, and musicians working ​now. This is not an exercise in history or nostalgia, but potential coordinated sectoral support for ​current working creative people in creative communities: 9
  • 11. (Princeton, WV’s RiffRaff Arts Collective and its ​Create Your State​ project is one example of an emerging creative community driving local economic change) Moreover, the emerging liquor-tourism sectors of NC and KY ought to be a model to build on in the region for both product creation, regional image branding, and linking together for tourism. More about the entrepreneurial success of Kentucky’s Bourbon Trail or the adjacent Yadkin Valley wine tourism region below: Kentucky has its Bourbon Trail and a thriving distillery tourism sector.​ ​ More than 725,000 visits accompanied those nine small distilleries on that trail in 2013 alone. According to the Kentucky Distillers Association, distilleries are “the hottest tourism attraction around.” By contrast, the West Virginia section of the I-77 Corridor no alcohol-related tourist attraction exists.​ Yet, a little over an hour further south on the same highway, a lively and award-winning wine industry sits in the I-77 corridor of North Carolina. The economic impact of North Carolina’s wine industry including that of the Yadkin Valley is $1.3bn supporting 7,600 jobs. This wine sector is becoming an emerging moonshine and hard liquor tourist destination with the 10
  • 12. legalization of distilleries in North Carolina and a new showcase distillery and farm to table site to open​ along I-77 in Statesville, NC in 2017.​ In terms of planning long-term economic investment in our region​, the hard liquor economic sector maintains its strength even in economic downturns​. It is potentially rich sector for agricultural and tourist development regionwide. Our region needs investment scaled to local needs, and, it needs to link investors to each other for education on impact investing for emerging economic sectors to succeed. If federal and state entities do not step up to assist with this emerging economic sector organization, then the private, nonprofit, philanthropic, and education sectors must step up to do this work themselves. This governmental assistance so far largely has been lacking and not comparable to the assistance given energy or large scale industry; moving forward we can anticipate that this will remain true. Moreover, we must move forward from a model that more than likely, in many locations, who is left and what is left is what is left to be built on. We can build on how the emerging economies and how people already flow in our region. We can follow how people already currently network (such as media markets, transportation flow, even how schools play sports against one another) to form connections in rural subsections that make the task of working together manageable and sensible. (​http://kybourbontrail.com/bourbon-trail-passport-start-here/evan-williams-bourbon-expereince/ http://www.cincinnati.com/story/money/2015/01/30/tourism-boom-kentucky-bourbon-distilleries/22617933/ https://www.northcarolina.edu/sites/default/files/documents/uncg_campus_narratives_nc_wine_industry.pdf​) The Treetop Creative Co-op​ is one such regional project looking for technical assistance to grow the local and regional creative economy sector. It has much infrastructure but lacks management and entrepreneurial expertise. 11
  • 13. **​Policy shift toward smart shrinkage, low growth, and even potential degrowth. In short, most of this kind of rural America is losing population, becoming increasingly poorer, and regional and national rural policy ought to address this head on.** Europe spent much time in the early 2000s rethinking its approach to its population declining areas. The European Union developed the Shrink Smart program and only one US city has implemented similar programs (the Appalachian town of Youngstown, OH). Likewise, the World Bank made a series of recommendations for the relocation or phasing out of small populated Russian “monotowns.​” We must have a frank discussion in population-declining central Appalachia, and in the US more generally about population decline in rural areas. We must frankly and openly plan for shrinkage of population in most rural areas. (​http://www.shrinksmart.eu/​) 12
  • 14. We must come to face the fact that some subsections of our region may not be jump started economically and discuss what is required to live in these places: what should these kinds of communities’ “survival and thrival” tactics become? While we grow these emerging economic sectors, how can we reskill for homestead and rural livelihood in locations where even new emerging sectors may not take root, or root deeply enough?​ How do we offer skills to make rural living possible for people wanting to stay in their location, but in a generation not raised to live from the land? How do we plan for the day the relief stops, for sectors, and for individuals? (From: ​Martinez and Wu​--one framework for rethinking a city’s purpose in an age of shrinkage) 13
  • 15. **Private foundation and federal shifts to scale grants that make sense for low rural populations and/or technical assistance to help counties work across borders to serve higher population impact.** The giving to rural areas does not match, per capita, the giving to urban regions. Federal and state grants are tooled for quantitative impact (how many people served). New kinds of federal and state and private foundation grants must be created to address the scale and needs of rural giving. Likewise, appropriate investor giving ought to be scaled and created for rural regions. Philanthropic, governmental, and private investment must support giving and lending in rural economic sectors that will not lead to the automation of rural jobs and the continued displacement of rural workers by technology. The US Bureau of Labor recently anticipated that many jobs currently paying less than $20 will be automated in the future. How do we create human centered economies and human livelihoods in our region that cannot be automated away? How do we build out our emerging sectors for support and success? How can we build in adjacent work such ​as this list begun reflecting kinds of work and workers more broadly needed to make farming even more viable in our region​? (​https://nonprofitquarterly.org/2014/12/04/what-ails-rural-communities-philanthropy-what-must-be-done/?gcli d=Cj0KEQjw6uO-BRDbzujwtuzAzfkBEiQAAnhJ0KuoSh1DHFE0Vg2xhqC5i8hbRy_YEfFcT5pZhQszMn4aAn pB8P8HAQ​) http://www.marketwatch.com/story/the-robots-are-coming-for-jobs-that-pay-20-an-hour-or-less-white-house-f inds-2016-02-22​) 14
  • 16. **​Create a regional branding and marketing cooperative to provide online vehicles for the region to speak to itself (promote assets and successes) such as a regionally-focused online magazine and social media driver to internally brand the region to itself and to communicate the region to itself (especially good news and assets), and, to brand and market the region externally, aimed specifically at the millennial market share (the growing share and the share of the future both internally and externally).** For example, Mountain Tech Media in Whitesburg, KY (pictured below) is a millennial-run company in partnership with Appalshop and prepared to take on this kind of branding and marketing cooperative, given the right partners and funding. They are a... “socially minded company that offers stellar marketing and client services to organizations and businesses across Appalachia and beyond. Internally, MTM is governed as a creative cooperative that encourages its talented professionals to own the company they are helping build. This model not only allows MTM to provide the very best that our industry has to offer, but it also gives MTM the privilege of being a social enterprise in a transitioning economy.” (​http://www.mttechmedia.com/about.html​) This kind of millennial enterprise ought to be broadcast throughout the region and supported heavily in terms of marketing and branding central Appalachia and its emerging economic sectors. Other subsections in the Appalachian and adjacent regions are reaching out very specifically and with broad strokes to millennials, focusing on quality of life, acceptance, and community. See these… noting a ​welcoming and a you can be yourself atmosphere: 15
  • 18. A regional working group on supporting the creative economic sector in a subsection of central Appalachia began on Oct. 29, 2016. Its meeting notes and agendas can be found here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/15aq1bzM-nKvr1vtqNVCgz5BczXrflMHfzAl0cIx6L8Y/edit? usp=sharing **Support qualitative asset-based assessments to develop potential for new entrepreneurial sectors.** Economic markets are created by humans and not extra-human forces. With a loss of land knowledge, sometimes we in central Appalachia do not know the value of what is underneath our feet. For example, two time decorated Vietnam Marine Corps Veteran turned longstanding organic farmer, Sylvester (Sky) Edwards sought ought a place to start an organic farm after his success in Washington State. He chose the heart of the WV coalfields. He was struck by the potential for what he called “Appalachian farming,” focused on gathering from the surface high demand and high priced items such as wild mushrooms, beech nuts, chestnuts, black walnuts, ginseng, mountain herbs; tapping maple trees for syrup; and managing pastured livestock for soil improvement and health. He focuses also on return on small capital investments and modes of business mentorship and cooperation that do not require willing and hardworking participants to have college degrees. He partnered with US Military Police veteran Jason Tartt, a Vallscreek, WV native. Their farm enterprise, a cooperative, is not a pilot or a one-off demonstration project. ​Their 311-acre farm turns a profit, with new kinds of exports from the hinterland (away from places of high traffic access) coal and coal adjacent region. 17
  • 19. Tartt’s and Edwards’ ​Appalachian Farming​ model sells to and fulfills the needs for local, fresh food but also focuses on export to larger cities such as Columbus, Richmond, Charlotte, Lexington, Winston-Salem, etc. Tartt and Edwards also cultivate market garden vegetables, fruits, and honey, and produce goat, chickens, turkeys, and eggs. Qualitative research and along with a regional publication outlet focused on the region can help the region discover its latent resources and its off-the-beaten path movers and shaker like Edwards and Tartt. This kind of story repeats itself throughout the region in terms of social entrepreneurs being passed over by local or state governments or passed over by philanthropy or media. We must support in-the-field discovery of our human resources and promote their connections across the region. (a display by ​S​outh Central Educational Development​ in Bluefield, WV on HIV and sexual disease awareness, from their outreach tailored for local audiences, https://www.facebook.com/pages/South-Central-Educational-Development-Inc/185598241911) **As the issue of poor health looms so large in central Appalachia, with a long list of chronic diseases ranking high, and, the coming anticipation of an explosion of HIV, Hep B, and Hep C infections, the coordination of public health response must be key.** 18
  • 20. A central Appalachian-specific task force ought to be created, with federal support, and replication potential for other rural regions and federally-coordinated linkages with other rural regions to: ● Address rural HIV, Hep B and Hep C to prevent even more people in the rural United States from dying of these diseases. ● Address these crises using place-based knowledges and and through on-the-ground rural health and prevention providers. Each rural area may require a different culture-based response. The on-the-ground health and prevention providers have this local knowledge. One local response is ​Concord University in Athens, WV rurally-focused Master of Social Work program​, pictured below, which lets local citizens stay local in order to complete their master’s. ● Implement smaller-scale prevention grants through the Center for Disease Control that work for the scale of population in rural areas. Current grants are too large and the CDC passes over rural areas in favor of large urban areas to demonstrate more impact. ● Assume coordination of broad rural subsection response, such as creating implementation sectors similar to those focused on economic development like the Appalachian Regional Commission or the Delta Regional Authority, for example. ● Fully fund rural HIV, Hep B and Hep C treatment and prevention response. ● Train workforce and economic developers to partner with prevention and treatment providers as HIV, Hep B and Hep C also deeply affect rural workforce participation. ● Fund the Comprehensive Addiction & Recovery Act (CARA) to combat the opioid addiction crisis (currently passed but with no funding) 19
  • 21. **Create leadership institutes and programs for children and adults at all levels of society in central Appalachia** Many texts cite longstanding issues of corruption and cronyism in central Appalachia. Current qualitative interviews suggest this is the number one issue local citizens wish to be addressed, as, without leadership, emerging economic sectors will falter, educational institutions will fail, and the local population continues to lose hope. Participants at a recent Central Appalachian Network gathering map “anchor” advocacy and practitioner groups supporting farmers in central Appalachia and work together to improve coordination of effort. Groups like the ​Central Appalachian Network​ and the ​Appalachian Funders Network​ provide essential grasstops cross-border leadership in the region and their ​Appalachian Transition Fellowship​ provides one entry point into grasstops leadership. Yet, more must be done. However, an extra-statutory (cross-border) approach and coordination of civic leadership or participation is essential. 20
  • 22. The low democratic participation myth of extractive communities is indeed a myth, as Norway, a very extractive-dependent country and economy (by the way, ​with millions of dollars of investment in West Virginia and Pennsylvania​) is a very democratic country with high levels of voting and civic participation, and, low levels of corruption. Until coal became supplanted by oil and gas as a US energy and economic driver (by World War II), workers in the coalfields actively worked for democracy by advocating for unions, shorter workdays, benefits, etc. Although efforts at democratization in central Appalachia were historically corrupted in the post UMWA formation era, this does not mean they ought not be tried again. Social media, tracking online corruption through on-the-scene video documentation, etc. changes the scenario for corruption mapping or reportage. In order to address this rural region’s many issues, many more people must be trained in how to assess and to address economic, political, educational, and social change. ​The kinds of programs the US supports abroad through USAID to promote democratic reform, train local citizens in democracy, and to promote youth leadership ought to be funded in central Appalachia. Last but not least, ​in order to make good land stewardship decisions going forward with the region’s assets, citizens oughts to be trained in citizen science and citizen evaluation of proposed resource utilization aka the Denmark ​model of participatory consensus conferences.​ We must understand the science at work in our region and the technology proposed before we jump on any pro or con bandwagons. **Provide more resource support for brownfields research and rehabilitation to support the emerging agricultural and recreational sectors** It is not easy to find the correct combination of expertise with respect to anticipating issues of agriculture for human consumption on former surface mining sites, and, especially, on sites near current or past deep mines in the central Appalachian coalfields. In our region, ​Chris Barton at the University of Kentucky ​ is the go-to person on exactly this set of issues. Both he and scientist David Lang (​Professor of Agronomy – Forage and Pasture Crops, Plant and Soil Sciences, 320 Dorman Hall Box 9555, Mississippi State, MS 39762, dlang@pss.MsState.edu​, 1-662-325-8181​ / ​1-662-325-2311) ​are prepared to work with regional entrepreneurs and governments on safety protocols for recreational and agricultural use in the coalfields. One note, each site is different and requires different protocol. ​Thus, what works at one site and is true of one site, may not be true or work at another site. Having good science and ongoing assessment on each proposed site is key! Barton shared a preliminary list of protocols for safety, compiled here: (​http://www.hinterlandcoalition.org/i-get-it/protocol-for-ag-land-use-on-former-surface-and-lowlan d-mine-sitescoalfields-region/​) If products are marketed as “Appalachian” but are hinted at to not be safe (and we can anticipate competitors will indeed do this), all our marketing and markets building regardless of actual production location can be ruined. 21
  • 23. **Fund regional educational coordination for emerging regional economic sectors** Create regional educational coalitions and conferences to address the range of emerging training needs for the emerging economic sectors. Centralize a system for credit participation, where students may earn credit or degrees through credits earned at various locations. Support a range of regional initiatives addressing professional development. For example, in the sustainable agricultural sector in our region, this gray text box highlights potential participants in regional agricultural sector educational coordination. Category: Sustainable Agriculture Professional Guilds Apprenticeships & Internships with Professional Farmers Farm Incubation Nonprofits Ag for Food Security, gardening,relearning heritage skills Ag Economics and Business Planning Elementary Schools Middle Schools/Junior High Schools High Schools Community Colleges Community College non-degree seeking Seminars, Training Programs Four Year Colleges Graduate Universities Or produce regional plans for education and coordination. Here was one attempt: (​https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1gbdX8c17GHBmJ7BLQCP3IDDzN2EPHyk3oVNQut DcOdA/edit#gid=1330209429​) 22
  • 24. We can convene and connect active “anchor” groups and look to models that are working in or adjacent to the region. For example, the Blue Ridge Plateau and its parent group, ​Grayson Landcare​, focus on local food systems and the agricultural economy in three Southwest Virginia counties. This local model can be built upon for more cross-regional connection and points of common ground in the region. (​http://graysonlandcare.org/our-work/) **Go out and look for innovation and entrepreneurship in the region--don’t wait for it to come to you. Then, support it!** Some of the best projects in the West Virginia coalfields region remained largely unknown to each other until recently (and they learned about each other not from regional reporting but from the Washington Post!), and certainly, to the wider coalfield region until recently. Rather than waiting to be approached for funding, foundations and federal and state groups ought to go out into the community and find projects and businesses making it despite the odds (such as McDowell County Farms) and reach out beyond the usual suspects in terms of their funding. This is similar to the approach taken by USAID in the early post-Soviet years in the former Soviet Union--USAID representatives went out and looked for projects to fund rather than waiting on them to come to them... Likewise, they ought to fund asset-based qualitative interviews, like those accomplished by Professor Ellen Darden at Concord University with their master in rural social work students, in order to uncover not-your-usual suspect problems needing addressing and not-your-usual suspect solutions being provided in the community. 23
  • 25. Governments, foundations, and universities must provide technical assistance for non-professional managers not frequenting the same social circles and loops as current central Appalachian focused private foundations or the federal government or universities--some of the best ideas and projects in places hardest hit and most in need are by people not running in those circles. **Support “Appalachian Innovation” or rural models of innovation** “Appalachian Innovation” like McDowell County Farms’ “Appalachian farming” blends heritage skills with 20th Century technical know-how for 21st Century purposes. An oft-recounted story by the ​Williamson Redevelopment Authority​ in Mingo County, WV is of a local surgeon who needed his inventions fabricated. He looked first outside the region and then found that local welders and fabricators formerly associated with the energy industry could produce what he needed at a much better cost. Thus, 20th Century technology and know-how was used for 21st Century invention. 24
  • 26. Silicon Valley models of innovation are often inappropriate for rural areas. The real opportunity in rural and overly-developed rural areas such as the coalfields is to bring together these three kinds of knowledge--heritage, modern, and future--for solving current and future needs. This approach can also be used to engage areas in community-based technology and for solving local issues with technical solutions created and produced locally. **Address the elephants in the room** Identity Our relationships to each other and to place evolve. Prior to the rise of coalfield identity in central Appalachia in the 1880s, people in subsections of our region identified in various ways: Southerners, pioneers, sharecroppers, with their families or kin, with their professions, with their states, etc. Prior to this, Europeans in the region were trappers, surveyors, or soldiers--and the peoples who worked on and lived on, and loved, this land prior to European involvement are mostly gone from the region, removed through death, conquest and war, or by forced migration. Thus, an “Ur” (proto, primal, or original) claim to Appalachia by many current residents highlights the complexities and even complications of place-based identity. Treading in and out of much central Appalachia place-based identity also is a strong masculine work identity: a coal mining family is defined as such because the men in that family work/ed in the mines. Every family member becomes part of the mining technology that is the coal miner himself. Identities shift and change...and we can redefine relationships and region to suit our current emerging modes and participants in work. We can come together to articulate common vision, common mission, and common values with respect to our self-descriptions and our current and future stewardship to land for which we find ourselves responsible either by choice or by industrial overdevelopment and abandonment. We can become a sustainable agriculture region, or as a farmer in Greenbrier County, WV wished West Virginia to be, “a new Vermont.” We can become a cultural, liquor, environmental, recreational and farm tourist region. We can redefine our region and make new subsections through new connections or rekindling broader or older ones. We can embrace shrinkage, degrowth, and small as positives and we can embrace right size (snapshot of regional population and other trends ​here​). With respect to the coalfields, many more people have left the coalfields than remain. Health care is the number one employer in most central Appalachian states. The emerging economic sectors highlighted in this white paper point to other potential family or work-based identities within grasp. How ought we come together to form common purpose and common vision for this common ground? A regional envisioning summit? A branding and marketing campaign? Theorized through public intellectuals? Sold to by country music or country capitalized marketing? Dictated to by largescale no employee industries? Just as these prior “Appalachian” identities were not forever, is coalfield identity forever? Is Appalachia forever? How else could or ought political, personal, economic, and cultural connections form regions or subregions in or out of central Appalachia? What marks our emerging identities? 25
  • 27. Race and class Despite the longstanding rhetoric that “we were all the same in the mines,” race and class remain large dividing factors in most Appalachian communities. Though the population in particular of African Americans in much of rural central Appalachia has declined, their population remains significantly active, especially in the West Virginia coal and coal adjacent region. One recent breakthrough includes the first African American elected to mayor of the McDowell County, WV town of Northfork (presiding mayor ​Marcus Wilkes​) who also won a second term. Despite this highlight, very rural sections of central Appalachia with African Americans receive less state funding, less national attention, and African Americans and groups of other races often remain invisible at academic, federal, state, nonprofit, and other conferences, in media in the region and beyond, especially lacking recognition for and in positions of leadership. Likewise, the continued underclass of central Appalachian residents continue to be targets of mixed local feelings, especially of the region’s remaining middle and upper classes. Though charity exists, systemic changes for integration into the new emerging economies often remain elusive. However, one highlight includes the ​Grow Appalachia ​program with its focus on food security, and that as some participants re-learn heritage skills in food production and preservation, Grow Appalachia has become a path to farm entrepreneurship. However, such as with the water crisis in central West Virginia in 2014 affecting the capacity for food relief supplied by food donations, the region teeters close to the edge if any one system (federal, nonprofit, or faith-based) relief stream should fail. We need rural policies that focus on solutions for employment and that make hard choices. Maybe relocation packages such as those proposed under Medvedev in Russia as suggested by the World Bank (as metro areas will continue to offer more employment opportunities in the coming decades)? Certainly, open and frank discussions must occur regarding the difference between a mode of rural living focused on homesteading and self-sufficiency, production for export, the continued shrinking of local economic purchasing markets, and the models of continued economic relief. Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Asexual (LGBTQA) Just as race and class divides exist, the recent spate of marriage inequality attempts and restroom gender laws create a hostile atmosphere to the ​LGBTQA community. In order for rural regions to prosper, or even, not dwindle away, they must engage all of their citizens. Programs aimed specifically at supporting the central Appalachian ​LGBTQA community ought to be funded. In the profile of foundation donations, gifts that support diversity ought to be highlighted and promoted. The economic power of this group also ought to be highlighted and promoted as a potential regional driver. Lose rotten rhetoric in order to bridge land and identity Likely most toxic in central Appalachia sits the us versus them rhetoric of both the energy sector (against the EPA, the federal government, and environmentalists) and the environmental justice sector against the energy industry and its participants (MTR, climate change, health disparities). The allegiances of local people in coal country have shifted post-1980s from a union orientation to a company orientation, with the adversarial relationship with coal management replaced by 26
  • 28. an adversarial orientation to regulation. The technological changes to the industry to reduce human worker need is absconded in this post-Reagan rhetoric. Models of land stewardship, linking to pre-coal heritage and identity, bridging interests in rural life and hunting, fishing, and forest harvesting may offer ways to bridge the sympathies of local residents and heal the rotten rhetoric highlighted in the photos below. Agriculture and the region’s livestock production history offers a path to land connection that resonates with central Appalachians. Central Appalachia was once a silvopasture based region (after settlement and post the boom and bust of trapping). It is possible to be empathetic to the environmental and health results to people and the land due to coal production AND be empathetic to the miners and others who lose high wage work. If one marches for land, when does one come back and march for health? For support for people who inject drugs and for solutions to the HIV, Hep B and Hep C crises? For support for the emerging possible emerging central Appalachian economic sectors? 27
  • 30. As the population dwindles in our subsection of rural America, and, with the opportunities to build on the emerging economic sectors highlighted in this white paper, we must focus on ways to connect with one another and to forgo rotten rhetoric. There are not enough of us to remain at odds. We must instead focus on getting the work done, creating work and markets that cannot be automated away or off-shored, and finding common points of identity and ethics we can abide by together. Factionalism and Romanticizing the Past Town or county and grasstops rivalry and/or even state rivalry permeates the region. Qualitative interviews point to issues of “not being able to get everyone on board” or of innovative or creative ideas receiving little local support in lieu of reminiscing about the good old days (often prior to 1970). Rather than waiting for local or regional consensus, agreement, or praise, those people motivated to work together and to move forward with economic policies embodied in actual on-the-ground projects that may allow community survival ought to connect and keep moving; those wrapped up in factionalism and/or romanticising a former golden era can come along later when they are ready. Soil and Water Health and Strange as this Weather Has Been Without healthy soil or healthy water, we cannot build on an agricultural or pastoral past for a lively and autonomous future. Coordinating across borders and developing agricultural and land use protocol and education across the region for soil and water health is key to producing agripreneurs who can steward both our rural land and economy into the future. Given the recent flooding in central Appalachia, droughts in other sections, and our recent redesignation in terms of USDA growing zones, we must seriously consider unpredictable weather as a factor in the kinds of long-term enterprise success we seek. Will this project done this way be resilient given highly erratic weather? (from: http://www.latinpost.com/articles/121922/20160628/west-virginia-flood-news-23-reported-dead-hundreds-left-homeless-with-more-st orms-feared-on-the-way.htm​) 29
  • 31. **Build and support true jobs models, in every emerging sector** Large-scale industries seek efficiency and to eliminate labor by humans. Humans unionize, get sick, demand health insurance, need retirement payments, take time off, need vacation, can produce errors, etc. This directive remains as true in clean energy as in coal or other energy sectors, or in large manufacturing, etc. Clean energy is important for many urgent environmental reasons, but also does not offer a long-term jobs solution. Refer again to the US Bureau of Labor report regarding the high likelihood of jobs making less than $20 an hour being replaced by robots in the coming decades. Emerging economic sectors in our region must focus on high-touch sectors in which human labor and management still remain relevant into the future. Moreover, ​places that have not yet been developed by multiple industries or by a single sector, or even a single operation, ought to be required to create a sunset fund to set money aside for relocation and retraining of workers and their families once they are no longer needed either due to technological advancement or the end of operations at that site​. This is separate from the severance taxes on industries such as coal, which states can choose to have allocated or dispersed beyond the immediately affected workers or location. Countries such as Sweden and Japan have developed sunset fund requirements for factories or operations locating into previously non-industrial rural areas, with the understanding that no operation lasts forever, and that the burden of retraining and relocating ought not be externalized onto the state. Furthermore, the workers who relocated to work in that factory ought not be responsible for bearing the burden of relocating after the factory or industrial site closes or downsizes (as is expected that it will). Likewise, all of the accompanying businesses, schools, and instutional and real infrastructure built to serve the needs of people associated either directly or through locale with that industry must also have plans in place for the eventual downsizing due to technological or industry shift. **Understand the resource wealth and follow their markets. Develop economic policies and procedures irrespective of supposed technological “advance.”** Despite energy company bankruptcies and asset shift in the central Appalachian and adjacent region, as this region remains resource wealthy, companies are unlikely to shed their land assets. Thus, unlike urban depopulating areas with land opening up for complete repurposing in and by a different economic sector (think brownfield into a museum or housing development into an urban farm), lands currently owned by resource companies mainly will remain owned by resource companies (think coal to timber, coal to natural gas, coal to water, maybe coal to rare earth elements--still resource driven). Anticipation of future use due to the development of technologies that provide access to or demand for mineral or other resource wealth remains a standard expectation in the energy sector.​ For example, new technologies give access to below-the-surface minerals previously inaccessible; new processes allow for cost effective refining of materials once either too cheap to harvest (no profit incentive) or too costly (can be gotten elsewhere). This technological determinist stance anticipates technology will always evolve to reactivate “fallow” resources. 30
  • 32. Likewise, the US’ cultural anticipation of technology always producing positive economic impact and new economic sectors arising fully to replace antiquated or shifting sectors does not bear out in workforce, environmental, or population statistics, especially in central Appalachia. In the coal producing regions proper, the emerging economic sectors (agricultural, liquor, tourist, and creative community sectors) must contend with limited access to land and buildings for their sectors. In the case of agricultural cooperative McDowell County Farms, they lease land from a coal-based land company in order to Appalachian “farm” and to quintuple their available acreage. This series of maps gives an overview of certain sections of central Appalachia’s energy resources. ​Understanding the larger picture can assist with predicting future economic trends. Last but not least, worth stating again is that ALL larger scale industries focus on technological advancements that eliminate workers. A key question becomes, for the remaining people living in the region, what kind of work ought they have that could maintain into the future? Or steward future generations? **** Note the timber wealth in Appalachia and the Southeast more generally, both for wood and wood product harvesting and for ​biomass. (​http://www.seesouthernforests.org/discover-southern-forests/benefits/ecosystem​) 31
  • 33. (​The larger brown circles show sources for producing wood pellets to export to Europen, https://www.southernenvironment.org/cases-and-projects/biomass-energy-in-the-south​) Kentucky is not touched by natural gas reserves, but most of Appalachia is. See below. 32
  • 34. Our region is teeming with trace elements, or rare earth elements. Mining them usually is a small footprint. Though we have much capacity for mining REE, their low cost from China keeps this from being profitable right now. Coal remains a very abundant US resource. It is unlikely it will be completely put out of use given its abundance in the US and in the world, especially in developing economies. Energy companies will continue to invest in technology to anticipate coal coming online again, but, technology will replace human workers when it can be used. 33
  • 35. Natural gas is debated as to whether it is clean energy, as its carbon emissions as an industry rank just below that of coal. Note the prevalence of access to natural gas in our region--technology has allowed companies to access what once was not accessible. Given its abundance, it is unlikely to be removed from an energy mix. Also, it is an export product, moved through largely poorer communities by rail. 34
  • 36. Oil remains a central Appalachian resource. This kind of resource overview is essential to understanding economic sector and political allegiances in our region. Again, ​as large commodity industries, ALL of these industries will continue to focus on technological solutions to access, production, transportation, etc. in lieu of hiring workers​. 35
  • 37. Last but not least, there is tremendous pressure on research universities and their economic development departments in central Appalachia to develop technology that will allow the sustainable and clean use of fossil fuels and the commodification of the region’s timber, water, and other resources both directly for use in large scale industry and by the government (institutions and military) and indirectly through externalized industrial costs (processes developed to allow industry to have their environmental impact or training or retraining costs paid by taxpayers rather than directly by industry). Very importantly, both corporate and federal contracts and grants (such as through the Department of Energy and the Department of Defense) offer tremendous support and incentive for this devotion of research foci and economic development department resources. Cheap energy provides the backbone for our current economic model and enables nearly all of our other current economic sectors. That energy remain cheap and plentiful is not only an industrial and economic imperative, but also an internal and external security one. Thus, the interest in central Appalachia’s abundant energy resources will always include national and international interests, as just this map of West Virginia’s international investment alone alludes. (​http://www.wvcommerce.org/App_Media/assets/doc/businessandworkforce/Intl/Investment_Fla g_Map_2014.pdf​) 36
  • 38. To insist upon the refocusing of regional research and economic development resources toward supporting economic sectoral development in which workers will not be displaced by technology is not to demand some Luddite throwback to another era. Instead, it is but a shift in the goals of efficiency and technical direction and service. Nearly every research university in central Appalachia is a public university, and, with significant taxpayer support and tasked with developing work and workers for our region’s economic future, also ethically bound to serve the region’s people. This means work for generations, rather than work that will inevitably, sooner rather than later, be displaced. The region’s university-based research ought to supporting economic sectors and developing work, financial, political, and community processes that will not displace workers with technology and which will address land, water, and community stewardship imperatives. This kind and quality of support is also possible to incentivize through federal grants and corporate contracts; however, it must find willing, organized, articulate, vocal, theoretical and fact and modeling-based advocates. Conclusion The issues affecting central Appalachia are not unique and are being experienced in many rural places across the United States. In an ideal situation, the United States would not continue to subsume national rural policy more generally under agricultural policy as it now does (including economic policy) under the Farm Bill. We would join nations such as Canada, Chile, Finland, France, and Korea with explicit national rural policies or plans. However, in the absence of such explicit national policy regarding rural economic development, this white paper outlines potential policies to be worked on jointly in the central Appalachian region by stakeholders such as nonprofits, local governments, educational institutions, etc. If individual states or legislators or legislatures choose not to engage, then other regional grasstops or faith-based constituents should move forward with cross-border and extra-statutory connections and coordination. If, thus far in time, the central Appalachian states have not comprehensively and thoroughly addressed the issues outlined in the background section of this white paper, regional grasstops ought to commit to working in subsections of the region that make sense and make their work more effective. The federal government ought to continue its support of cross-border and extra-statutory work in the realm of rural economic development for the reasons outlined above regarding the need to connect to adjacent subsections with more financial and earning experience in these emerging economic sectors. In addition to forming regional policy and coordination on issues of health, declining population and smart shrinkage, and explicit discussion of regional vision, economic sectors, and the kinds of jobs to be supported in the region, we must connect to other similar rural regions and work together. We must stop hyper-exceptionalizing Appalachia in terms of its long list of problems, and instead look up and around and out, and connect to rural places across the country and the world in similar straits. We learn and can become more together than in regional factions. Moreover, the history of a coalfield identity and employment is relatively short-lived with the boom beginning in 1888 and employment peaking nearly one hundred years ago. Identities and their social markers evolve; it is time for central Appalachia to stretch its strong work-affiliated identity through other economic sectors, linking to and building on an agricultural and pastoral past and embracing emerging sectors and long-standing cultural strengths for a creative, neighborly, and hospitable future. 37
  • 39. Everything proposed in this white paper is a potential solution and approach that can be used in other rural areas of the country… We must move beyond the politically-created and politically-motivated statutory and even county or town borders to collaborate, cooperate, and coordinate for the survival and the potential for “thrival” in our increasingly rural region. We must build on our connections and identities moving forward. We cannot go it alone, not as individual people, communities, or states. We must create means and ways of working together, with or without outside assistance. Likewise, we must bridge our differences locally and work together, or, die out one by one, as we already have seen other communities and people go. Additional Selected Works Cited Anderson, Benedict. ​Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism. Verso Books, 2006. Bauman, Zygmunt. ​Community: Seeking Safety in an Insecure World. Cambridge, UK: Polity Press, 2011. Bell, Shannon. “‘There Ain’t No Bond in Town Like There Used to Be’: The Destruction of Social Capital in the West Virginia Coal Fields.” ​Sociological Forum 24, no. 3 (September 2009): 631–57. Breslau, Daniel. “Economics Invents the Economy: Mathematics, Statistics, and Models in the Work of Irving Fisher and Wesley Mitchell.” ​Theory and Society 32, no. 3 (2003): 379–411. Bridger, Jeffrey C., and A. E. Luloff. “Building the Sustainable Community: Is Social Capital the Answer?” ​Social Inquiry 71, no. 4 (2001): 458–72. Brown, David L., Louis E. Swanson, and Alan W. Barton. ​Challenges for Rural America in the Twenty First Century. University Park: Pennsylvania State University Press, 2003. Browne, William P. ​The Failure of National Rural Policy. Washington: Georgetown University Press, 2001. Callon, Michel. “What Does It Mean to Say That Economics Is Performative?” In ​Do Economists Make Markets? On the Performativity of Economics, edited by Donald MacKenzie, Fabian Muniesa, and Lucia Siu, 311–57. Princeton, N.J: Princeton University Press, 2007. Campbell, Hugh, Michael Mayerfeld Bell, and Margaret Finney, eds. ​Country Boys : Masculinity and Rural Life, 2006. Cook, S., and B. Taylor. “Academics, Activism, and Place-Based Education in the Appalachian Coal Belt.” ​Special Issue of Practicing Anthropology 23, no. 2 (2001): 1–32. 38
  • 40. Di John, Jonathan. “Is There Really a Resource Curse? A Critical Survey of Theory and Evidence.” Global Governance 17, no. 2 (2011): 167–84. Duncan, Cynthia. ​Worlds Apart: Why Poverty Persists in Rural America. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1999. Fischer, Frank. ​Citizens, Experts, and the Environment: The Politics of Local Knowledge. Durham, NC: Duke, 2000. Fisher, Stephen L., and Barbara Ellen Smith. ​Transforming Places: Lessons from Appalachia. Champaign-Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2012. Foucault, Michel. ​Society, Territory, Population. Lectures at the Collège de France, 1977-78. London: Picador, 2007. Freudenburg, William. “Addictive Economies: Extractive Industries and Vulnerable Localities in a Changing World Economy.” ​Rural Sociology 57, no. 5 (1991): 305–32. High, Steven. “Capital and Community Reconsidered: The Politics and Meaning of Deindustrialization.” Labour/Le Travail 55 (2005): 187–96. Hughes, Thomas P. “The Evolution of Large Technological Systems.” In ​The Social Construction of Technological Systems: New Directions in the Sociology and History of Technology, edited by Wiebe Bijker, Thomas Hughes, and Trevor Pinch, 51–82. Cambridge: MIT Press, 1987. Hulme, Mike. ​Why We Disagree about Climate Change. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2009. Leadbeater, David. 2008. ​Mining Town Crisis: Globalization, Labour and Resistance in Sudbury. Halifax: Fernwood Pub. Ledet, Richard. “Correlates of Corruption.” In ​Public Integrity, 13, 2:149–62, 2011. Lobao, Linda. “Social Science Generalizations and Old Industrial Regions: The Case of the Ohio River Valley.” ​Environment and Planning A Environ Plan A30, no. 4 (1998): 571–75. Mitchell, Timothy. ​Carbon Democracy: Political Power in the Age of Oil. New York: Verso, 2011. Reichert Powell, Douglas. ​Critical Regionalism: Connecting Politics and Culture in an American Landscape. Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 2007. Reid, Herbert, and Betsy Taylor. “Appalachia as a Global Region: Toward a Critical Regionalism and Civic Professionalism.” ​Journal of Appalachian Studies 8:1, no. Spring 2002 (n.d.): 9–32. Schumpeter, Joseph. ​Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy, 1947–2010. Scott, James. ​Seeing Like a State: How Certain Schemes to Improve the Human Condition Have Failed. 39
  • 41. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1998. Scott, Rebecca R. ​Removing Mountains: Extracting Nature and Identity in the Appalachian Coalfields. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2010. Stafford, Thomas. ​Afflicting the Comfortable: Journalism and Politics in West Virginia. Morgantown, WV: West Virginia University Press, 2005. von Hippel, Eric. ​Democratizing Innovation. Cambridge, Mass: MIT Press, n.d. Winner, Landon. ​The Whale and the Reactor: A Search for Limits in an Age of High Technology. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1986. Overview of groups/people working on what in the region ​from a regional approach Agriculture and Food Hubs Central Appalachian Network WV Food and Farm Coalition Community Farm Alliance Appalachian Sustainable Development Appalachian Center for Economic Works HIV, Hep B, Hep C South Central Educational Development Inc. Chronic Disease Education Entrepreneurship and Social Entrepreneurship Mountain Association for Community Economic Development Creative Economies and Communities Mountain Association for Community Economic Development Marketing and Branding Regional Vision and Envisioning Central Appalachian Network Grayson LandCare Tourism Cultural Tourism 40
  • 42. Acknowledgments Thank you so much to people who have been particularly supportive in providing input, ideas, solid approaches, and solid thoughts to my evolving research, outreach, and shaping of policy potentials and approaches. With particular thanks to: Jim Collier, Virginia Tech Barbara Ellen Smith, Virginia Tech Rebecca Hester, Virginia Tech Ellen Darden, Concord University Darryl Cannady, South Central Educational Development Inc. Kathlyn Terry, Appalachian Sustainable Development Jerry Moles, Grayson Landcare, SustainFloyd, and Blue Ridge Plateau Lori McKinney, RiffRaff Arts Collective The folks at the Mingo County Diabetes Coalition and Williamson Redevelopment Authority Dwight Emrich in Hinton Wytheville Community College The folks at McDowell County Farms Mayor Marcus Wilkes Edward Marshall, We Are All Farmers and Pockerchicory Farms ...and the many other people who have let me interview them, pester them for information or direction, attend their meetings, go to their conferences, or have pointed me and engaged me toward resources or intellectual direction….Thank you! Author Biography A National Science Foundation Graduate Fellow and Fulbright alumna, Crystal Cook Marshall is a PhD candidate at Virginia Tech with a focus on hinterland community and economic development. Her case study has included qualitative interviews and participant observations in southern West Virginia, southwest Virginia, central West Virginia, eastern Kentucky, and in Washington, DC. Her survey, focus group work, and participant research include I-77 North Carolina. Data sets are drawn primarily from a fifty-county set of rural counties stretching from Montgomery County, VA to McCreary County, KY. Theoretical considerations are drawn primarily from science and technology studies in society, rural studies, urban geography, regional studies, Appalachian studies, philosophy of technology, policy studies, discard studies, risk studies, and sociology. Originally from West Virginia, Cook Marshall is Barnard College, Columbia University alumna. She anticipates defending her dissertation spring 2017 and has master’s degrees from the New School (pedagogy) and from Antioch University of Los Angeles (writing). Before returning to Appalachia, she worked as an educator, writer, and nonprofit executive. Additionally, she and her husband farm in North Carolina. Cook Marshall can be reached at ​crystalacook@vt.edu​, (704) 978 9404. 41