Hidden Valley Wildlife Management Area

by Richard Kretz Richard Kretz is a regionally-acclaimed naturalist and photographer whose digital images capture the vibrant beauty and diversity of nature. His life project is to photographically document as much of the flora and fauna as possible in far Southwest Virginia. He resides at the foot of Clinch Mountain near Lebanon in Russell County, […]

Why Living in Appalachia Ain’t So Bad

During the last presidential race, the stereotype of Appalachia once again reared its ugly head. The national media could not resist taking repeated potshots at the last place they can slander without penalty. The region’s embracement of Hillary Clinton over Barrack Obama in the Democrat primaries had to be based upon racism, the media conclusion went, although many northern state and city polls showed that race was a determining factor at a higher rate there than in the mountains. The media tended to ignore the fact that whether black or white, if a voter primarily chooses a candidate based on race, that is racism. Candidate Obama’s biggest difficulty in Appalachia tended to be his liberal views about gun rights, questions about religion and Reverend Wright, and lingering doubts in the mountains that government can fix anything. In fact, our region has embraced many government interventions and programs, including Roosevelt’s New Deal, federal labor rights, and national mine safety and reclamation laws, to name a few. Like most Americans though, we are generally opposed to federal intervention and pork unless it helps us directly.