Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

October 2, 2012

Judge dismisses lawsuit to protect Blair Mountain

Associated Press

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — A federal judge in Washington has dismissed a lawsuit filed by environmental groups trying to prevent mining on Blair Mountain.

U.S. District Judge Reggie Walton on Tuesday ruled that the Sierra Club and other groups had no standing to challenge the removal of the Blair Mountain Battlefield from the National Register of Historic Places. They had hoped that its inclusion would protect it from being mined.

In 1921, some 10,000 coal miners trying to unionize marched to Blair and faced down police and hired guns who had homemade bombs and machine guns. At least 16 men died before the miners surrendered to federal troops in what became the nation's largest armed uprising since the Civil War.

The battlefield was added to the Register then removed when private property owners objected.