Director: Anne Lewis
On Our Own Land (29 min)
In the Appalachian coalfields, broadform deeds were used, beginning around 1900, to sever the ownership of mineral rights from the ownership of the surface land. Although surface mining was virtually unheard of at the time most of these deeds were signed, Kentucky courts ruled years later that the owners of such deeds could strip mine the land without the consent of the surface owners. On Our Own Land chronicles the citizens fight to have the broadform deed declared unconstitutional in Kentucky.
The story unfolds through the voices of local people as the viewer meets a family determined not to move their fathers grave for strip miners, sees the rubble of a strip job “reclaimed” to the letter of the law, and watches as citizens protest strip mine abuses and push the state legislature for reform.
Ready for Harvest (28min)
Ready for Harvest explores the complex questions of how we use and protect our native forests. Footage includes interviews with Walton Smith, who has practiced sound forest management techniques for more than 60 years; Betty Ballew, whose community was dislocated because other people wanted to use the land for their own purposes; and Chuck Crow, a Cherokee who ahs seen the short-term gains and long-term losses to communities when the forests that surround them are stripped of trees. Mary Kelly, an ecologist, explains the importance of biological diversity to a healthy ecosystem.
Sponsored by Arts and Sciences Sustainability Theme, The Alden Library, and Environmental Studies.