Our mission is to "protect the forest, wildlife, and watersheds of our National Forest and surrounding communities for present and future generations." We are hikers, students, teachers, farmers, business men, nature lovers, and members of the local community who are brought together by our desire to promote the appreciation, understanding, and protection of our environment.
Our work focuses specifically on High Knob, a 4,223 foot mountain which stretches into three counties and is at the heart of the Clinch Valley Bioreserve, a 2,200 square mile area that has been designated by The Nature Conservancy as one of the Last Great Places in the World. This region in the extreme southwestern tip of Virginia is home to more rare and endangered aquatic and botanical species than any other region in the continental United States. (Learn more about the history of the Jefferson National Forest.)
The Clinch Coalition is a grassroots non-profit organization supported by membership dues and grants, which formed in 1998 to protect and sustain healthy forests in our national forest. Our campaign gained momentum in 2001 when heavy rains and a clearcut upstream in the National Forest combined to create a massive flood which destroyed property and washed an elderly man to his death.
Our ultimate goal is to achieve congressional designated protection for High Knob to protect the source of our community's drinking water, to prevent flooding, and to give us, our neighbors and others a place for safe recreation. (Read the latest about special designation HERE) At the same time, we are building trails and otherwise working to enhance tourism in the region to encourage low impact economic development. As an organization, The Clinch Coalition believes that promoting the appreciation, understanding, and protecton of our environment is an essential step toward protecting our quality of life, health and well being.
One newspaper survey showed that our community favors designated protection of High Knob at a ratio of four to one. We have now gained significant support from various community organizations, government bodies and individual citizens which will allow us to move ahead with our goal of obtaining the protection that is needed for High Knob and other special areas on the Clinch Ranger District that are a part of the Clinch Valley Bioreserve.