Environmentalist Larry Gibson remembered fondly
September 11, 2012 ·
West Virginia environmental activist Larry Gibson died following a heart attack Sunday at his home on Kayford Mountain in Raleigh County. The 66-year-old opponent of mountaintop removal founded The Keeper of the Mountains Foundation in 2004.
Friends say Larry Gibson
will be remembered for his heart, his sense of humor, and his tireless efforts
in combating mountain top removal, a practice he saw as destroying the land he
Michael Kline of Elkins
met Gibson more than 20 years ago.
"What clearly drove
that determination and will power and willingness to submit himself to all
kinds of things was this overriding vision of the mountains where he grew up,”
said Kline. “This was a place that once had a natural spring that ran at the
foot of his home place.”
“The waters of that
spring kept generations of his family healthy for years.”
When Gibson returned to West Virginia in the 1990's after
years in Ohio, he took up the environment cause,
spreading the campaign and gathering supporters nationwide.
Kline's wife, Carrie,
says that is Gibson’s lasting legacy.
"Larry was many
things, but I think he should be remembered as a strategist,” she said. “He’s taught
a lot of people who came here and are from here, and have a lot of ideas of
“I think we’re going to
save these mountains together.”
The Keeper of the
Mountains Foundation website states a private funeral will be held and a public
memorial service will be announced later.