Associated Press Published

Judge: Decision to Delist Blair Mountain Was Wrong


A federal judge in Washington has ruled that the U.S. Interior Department was wrong when it removed the site of the Blair Mountain labor battle from the National Register of Historic Places.

The Charleston Gazette-Mail reports that Monday, U.S. District Judge Reggie Walton granted a motion for summary judgment sought by groups that challenged a 2009 decision that Blair Mountain should be delisted.

The delisting was made at the urging of a lawyer for coal companies that own potential mining sites in the area.

Walton says in a 47-page opinion that federal officials didn’t verify a list of objecting landowners and failed to act transparently.

According to the ruling, the legal fight traces its roots to the 1921 “armed conflict between coal miners and strikebreakers” during the United Mine Workers efforts to unionize West Virginia’s southern coalfields.