Save Our Cumberland Mountains (SOCM)

 

ETRC partnered with local environmental activists to form an organization that endures to this day. Called Save Our Cumberland Mountains, SOCM’s origins flowed directly from the work of local leaders with Coalition students. J.W. Bradley, coal miner and community leader from Petros, served as its first chairperson. This 1973 photo from the Campbell County Times documents a gathering of state legislators responding to environmental concerns at coal mines in East Tennessee, as raised by SOCM. Here, a state legislator is inspired to personally test water quality near a mine entrance. The advocacy organization enjoyed almost immediate success with their challenge to extraction taxation and environmental protection laws. SOCM survives to this day as a statewide organization devoted to social, economic, and environmental justice in Tennessee.


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