OVEN FORK, Ky. _ The rugged terrain surrounding the Poor Fork of the Cumberland River, tucked in the folds of the southeastern Kentucky mountains, is a lush and woody haven that appears much as it did centuries ago.
The whispering river, 6 feet wide in some places, cascades down Letcher County's Pine Mountain, part of the Cumberland Mountains. Rare plants grow along the banks. The river is one of six in Kentucky designated as a Class 1 waterway because of its pristine water and natural brook trout population.
On Thursday, about two dozen people gathered to try to protect the Poor Fork and its woods. They contested a permit sought by Cumberland River Coal Co. to strip mine for coal just a few miles upstream. The company wants to remove the top of more than 1,000 acres of mountains.
Read the full story at kentucky.com.