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An explosive subject comes to town

Courtesy the Beehive Collective

Using drawings, a mural and words, the Bumblebee Design Collective will discuss “the true costs of coal” Saturday in Durango.

By Dale Rodebaugh Herald staff writer

Two environmental groups, one from San Francisco, the other from Machias, Maine, will be at the Durango Discovery Museum on Saturday to tell their side of the mountaintop removal controversy and about other Earth-related issues.

The presentation by the Beehive Design Collective and Rising Tide North America will be the 18th and last stop of a tour of the Southwest.

The free program is sponsored by the Durango-based Great Old Broads for Wilderness. The presentation will begin at 3 p.m. at the Discovery Museum, 1333 Camino del Rio.

“We have a 16-by-8-foot mural and will walk you through the whole narrative with graphics,” Emma Hornback of Bumblebee said by telephone Wednesday. “Our story is about mountaintop removal mining in Appalachia.”

Mountaintop removal is the use of explosives to take off the top of a mountain or ridge to expose underlying coal seams.

The group will discuss what it says are “the true costs of coal.”

Another Bumblebee team is touring Appalachia, then will head for the Great Lakes and later New England, she said.

Bumblebee activists visited Alaska this summer to support residents in the Matanuska-Susitna Valley who oppose the opening of three coal mines there, Hornback said.

In Appalachia – Virginia, West Virginia, eastern Kentucky and Tennessee – Bumblebees don’t take an aggressive stance, Hornback said.

“It’s not our goal to change minds there,” she said. “We try to have a good conversation on issues and connect the dots in the big picture.”

Nick Stocks of San Francisco-based Rising Tide on Saturday will discuss fracking, the injection of water and chemicals into underground seams to free gas and tar sands, and other mineral extraction issues, Hornback said.

The Bumblebee Design Collective is 12 years old, operating on donations, Hornback said. It’s a grass-roots organization, she said.


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