The first time I flew over southern West Virginia and saw mountaintop removal coal mining from the air, I knew that if everyone could see what I had seen—mountain after mountain blown up and then dumped into streams in the neighboring valleys—they would think twice about where their electricity came from the next time they flipped a light switch.

That's why we at Appalachian Voices, and our partner groups, created the National Memorial for the Mountains, using Google Earth to tell the stories of more than 470 mountains that have been lost, as the centerpiece of our website We never imagined that those stories would now be available to over 200 million people as part of the latest release of featured content in Google Earth.

Now it's your turn to fly over the region. I invite you to take a look at the mountaintop removal layer in the new featured content for Google Earth. Look for "Appalachian Mountaintop Removal" under the "Global Awareness" folder of the "Layers" sidebar. You can take the site tour of a mountaintop removal operation, explore the featured mountains and affected communities marked with blue flag buttons, and use the slider bar to see high resolution images of these mountains before and after mountaintop removal. To view all the locations of the over 470 mountains that have been destroyed, please visit the full featured version of the Memorial on

Thanks for visiting and helping us spread the word, and thanks to everyone at Google Earth who worked so hard to help us bring this important information to life.