WV environmental activist Judy Bonds dies
Judy Bonds was executive director of Coal River Mountain Watch.
January 5, 2011 ·
West Virginia environmental activist Julia "Judy" Bonds died Monday night. Bonds was executive director of Coal River Mountain Watch, a southern West Virginia environmental group.
turned activist, Bonds was known for her passionate opposition to mountaintop
removal coal mining.
In a 2003
interview, she told former West Virginia Public Broadcasting reporter, Jeff
Young, about an incident in Marfork Hollow that convinced her to sell her
family's land and become an environmental activist.
heard my grandson say, 'Maw, maw,' and I look at him and he said, 'What's wrong
with these fish?' And he had both his
little hands were full of dead fish and there were dead fish laying all over
the stream," Bonds said. "That
was a slap in the face."
interviewed Bonds in 2003, the year she won the Goldman Environmental Prize. The primary target of her campaigns was
Virginia-based Massey Energy, which she blamed for the devastation in Marfork
Hollow and other Appalachian communities.
what we're trying to preserve, the innocence of a time left behind, of a
connection to community, to people, to heritage, to culture, and the
environment. It's a tradition that goes on," Bonds said.
Coal River Mountain Watch activist Vernon Haltom says the
Bonds was diagnosed with cancer last summer.
He said, as an activist, Bonds endured physical assault,
verbal abuse, and death threats but she handled it all with courage.