e-Vision Journal of Undergraduate Writing

Year enrolled


Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.


The Rocky Mountains look like paintings from above, with luscious green trees covering the lower peaks. Rivers snake through the valleys, beginning to carve their way down to the ocean. A light mist hangs between each slope with the tops of the snow-capped mountains jutting into the sky.... Unfortunately, an aerial view of the Appalachian Mountains provides a different and alarming sight. Rocks and rubble replace the green trees. The rivers are nowhere to be seen, hidden underneath mounds of dirt. A haze of settling dust from a long day of work leaves a black layer on the houses in the valleys. What was once a proud mountain is now a lifeless plateau. This is the horrific result of Mountaintop Removal mining.

Kristina Van is a sophomore nursing major at James Madison University. She was never interested in saving the earth until she needed something to write about for class and came across this topic on Facebook. Since then, she has enjoyed learning more about being environmentally conscious and hopes others will do the same.



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