E. Franklin Dukes is a mediator, teacher, and researcher who directs the Institute for Environmental Negotiation at the University of Virginia. He is the author of Resolving Public Conflict: Transforming Community and Governance and coauthor of Reaching for Higher Ground: Creating Purpose-Driven, Principled, and Powerful Groups, among many other publications.
Residents of the Appalachian coalfields share a history and heritage, deep connections to the land, and pride in their own resilience. These same residents are also profoundly divided over the practice of mountaintop mining. Looking beyond the slogans and seemingly irreconcilable differences, however, can reveal deeper causes of conflict.