Monopod Blocking Mountain Valley Pipeline Celebrates 30th Day
The 30th day of the monopod blockade has arrived, and we’re still here! For 30 days and 29 nights, steadfast Nutty has blocked MVP’s road access into the Hellbender Autonomous Zone in the Jefferson National Forest.
She has held her ground through snow, sleet, hail, heavy winds, driving rain, freezing nights, and (a few) scorching afternoons, perched atop a tiny cot suspended high above the ground.
Now, near the end of April, springtime is incrementally arriving up here on the mountain. Bright green buds are visible (finally) on oaks, tulip poplars, and tiny wild blueberry bushes underfoot. Songbirds can be heard warbling overhead (or in Nutty’s case, at ear level). All manner of insects are waking up and crawling or flying around. On sunny days, supporters on the ground have even seen stripy garter snakes out catching rays on the slopes. In the forest, life continues unfolding, even as MVP’s destructive project creeps forward.
Most days on Pocahontas Rd, MVP work is still taking place — but at an expensive, inconvenient crawl, not the racing pace of “progress” that MVP boasted would occur. Contractors in bright green vests and white hard hats maneuver ATVs through the Forest Service’s round-the-clock stakeout, under Nutty’s back anchor line, surveying and doing roadwork in preparation for the massive drill rig they hope to eventually drive up the ridge.
This mountain is considered critical to MVP’s construction plans, as evidenced by their EIS and by the great lengths they’re taking to find workarounds to this month-long blockade. They’re mad, but we’re still here!
Today we celebrate the 30th day of this record-breaking monopod, with gratitude for Nutty’s inspiring commitment and determination, and with ambitions for further action. This blockade is just one part of a bigger movement to fight for a livable future in Appalachia and beyond. Much more work remains if we are to stop this ill-conceived project. There are points of intervention possible against extractive destruction everywhere, it just takes a willingness to act.
“There is no shortage of points to join in the fight,” a supporter recently wrote to us after visiting the monopod for a couple days. “Showing up can take so many forms and all of them are critical. All of them nourish others who are showing up; all of them inspire others. Most importantly, all of them demonstrate that we will not sit and watch and wait for the damage to be done – if something is wrong then we will resist.”
Nutty said it best herself: if you want to honor her, take action to stop this pipeline!