When Danny Cook attempted to visit his family cemetery on Cook Mountain in late June, he found the access roads blocked off by five to six steep, man made berms surrounded by four foot trenches and in some cases, water. The Cook Mountain mine site, operated by Horizon Resources LLC, is several hundred feet away and advancing in the direction of the Civil War-era cemetery and the family’s ancestral land. On the dirt road that runs alongside the gravesite, Horizon Resources LLC has drilled holes to measure coal seam depth. The Cooks, many of whom still live in James Creek Hollow down below, do not own mineral rights to Cook Mountain, and are unsure of their surface rights. Horizon, which is jointly owned by Massey Energy and the International Coal Group, is free to blast away the bones of the dead, exposing a thin strip of coal that will be mined and quickly burned.
The following video shows the family visiting the site and talking about Cook Mountain history and the oncoming devastation: