Anti-Pipeline Tree Sitters In Second Week, Need Support
Peters Mountain, WV – Tree sitters with Appalachians Against Pipelines are now in the second week of their action to stop tree cutting for the Mountain Valley Pipeline on the border of Virginia and West Virginia. The pipeline company has to complete the tree cutting by March 31, 2018 or violate federal wildlife protections for bats. The tree sitters need your support.
They are asking for support – people who can come to the site and donations for supplies. Visit their Facebook Page to find out how you can help or donate directly to http://bit.ly/SupportMVPResistance.
On February 27, Appalachians Against Pipelines announced the launch of the tree sit:
Defend the forest, farmland, & karst — NO MVP! Solidarity with all pipeline fighters.
Yesterday, pipeline resisters launched a tree sit in the path of the Mountain Valley Pipeline in southern West Virginia. The tree sit is stationed on Peters Mountain, at the site where Mountain Valley Pipeline LLC is preparing to bore a hole horizontally through the mountain and under the Appalachian National Scenic Trail.
The Karst limestone terrain of Peters Mountain generates and filters fresh drinking water, and is especially susceptible to landslides and sinkholes. Pipeline construction in this area would destroy a unique biome filled with caves, underground streams, and springs inhabited by life found nowhere else in the world. Precision Pipeline, one of the companies contracted to build the MVP, has been cited repeatedly for violations of erosion and sediment control as well as water contamination during the construction of the Mariner East 2, Rover, and Stonewall Pipelines.
Resource extraction and the exploitation inherent to it is not new to Appalachia—it’s scarred into the land. These pipeline resisters stand in solidarity with all those who have fought for their communities and against corporate greed. The struggle they continue today began in 1492. The struggle against these pipelines remains a struggle against settler-colonialism.
On March 6, Mountain Valley Pipeline started the process of gaining a temporary restraining order against the tree sitters.
Mountain Valley Pipeline LLC has begun court proceedings to attempt to get a temporary restraining order (TRO) against protesters who remain in the trees in the proposed pipeline path. The company’s request for a restraining order was filed on Friday. This is a scare tactic — it is a SLAPP suit intended to scare resisters into silence.
Below is a full statement from Peters Mountain Stand:
“From the beginning, MVP has tried to strong arm people all along the route to get their way. They’ve intimidated people with constant letters, surveyors, and private security. When that hasn’t worked they threaten and pursue law suits against people who don’t want this pipeline.
MVP issues letters and notices to intimidate and scare people. However, this notice tells us that MVP is scared. MVP is scared because they are learning that people are tired of their intimidation all across the region. We remain unwilling to stand down in the face of their destruction.”
On March 8, Appalachians Against Pipelines reported that tree clearing had started and that a temporary restraining was granted. The hearing is scheduled for Tuesday, March 13 at 1:00 pm in Monroe County. Appalachians Against Pipelines is encouraging people to attend the hearing in support.
TREE CLEARING FOR THE MOUNTAIN VALLEY PIPELINE ON PETERS MOUNTAIN HAS BEGUN, ADJACENT TO THE APPALACHIAN TRAIL. These photos of the mountain, taken yesterday, show just a glimpse of the destruction to come.
Mountain Valley Pipeline LLC began cutting trees on Peters Mountain (the site of the tree sit) on March 8th. Peters Mountain sits at the WV/VA border, and is where the MVP is proposed to cross the Appalachian Trail. The tree sit remains in place despite multiple visits from law enforcement and private security.
A temporary restraining order (TRO), granted by a Monroe County, WV judge, was served to the tree sit yesterday. The order granting the TRO states that the tree sit “is preventing MVP from exercising its rights” and “putting MVP at risk for missing its tree-clearing deadline of March 31, 2018.” A hearing on the Motion for Preliminary Injunction will be held on Tuesday, March 13, 2018 at 1:00 pm at the Monroe County Courthouse in Union, WV.
On March 11, the Forest Service closed access to the pipeline route. According to Laurence Hammock of Roanoke.com, “In what it described as an emergency, the U.S. Forest Service said Saturday it was closing parts of the Jefferson National Forest where a natural gas pipeline is planned. The order ‘was enacted to protect public safety due to hazards associated with constructing the Mountain Valley Pipeline,’ according to a news release issued late Saturday afternoon. With the exception of authorized personnel, the order prohibits anyone from being within 200 feet of either side of a right-of-way established for the pipeline to pass through the national forest in Monroe County, West Virginia, and Giles and Montgomery counties.”
However, workers are back at the tree cutting today. Here is a video from Appalachians Against Pipelines.
“This is a video from the tree sit on the WV side of Peters Mountain in Monroe County. Workers from Mountain Valley Pipeline are using chainsaws to clearcut trees along the path of the easement. The video shows that this work is happening very close to the pipeline resisters.”
Please support the tree sitters any way that you are able. At the very least, please share this article and their Facebook page with others.