Amber Nitchman,19, spent 9 days in a tree and did jail time as a part of Climate Ground Zero's most recent campaign of non-violent civil disobedience to stop mountain top removal mining.

As advice for anyone wanting to stop mountain top removal mining but not sure about whether to be a part of a tree-sit Nitchman said, “ Not everyone has to come down here (West Virginia) and be an activist that sits in a tree. But everyone can contribute in some way, whether it's through supporting our group itself, or doing some other mountain top removal resistance work.”

Nitchman said local campaigns are needed in which people in, for example, Central Ohio, can pressure their local utility companies to find ways to generate power without using coal mined by mountaintop removal. At, we can find out about how our electricity connects to this issue simply by entering our zip codes.

Speaking via telephone from Rockcreek, WV, Nitchman said, “In my home town, in Lancaster (PA), we're working on having a fundraiser for all of the people that are down here. We're going to show a movie and speak to people about mountain top removal.”

About how she felt mentally after doing her tree-sit and spending time in jail, Nitchman said, “Everyone got together to make a successful action. We got a lot of good press about it. We did what we had aimed to do.”

About whether being exposed to air horn blasts caused permanent damage to her hearing, Nitchman said she wasn't sure.

“ I don't think I do (have hearing loss). I have yet to go see an ear doctor about it. We've been talking about doing that. They (the air horns) were very loud. At one point, right before the moratorium happened, they had air horns right next to my platform. So, I am pretty sure it's possible.” Send Comments