My name is Derek Douglas and I have worked for ten years in the
Appalachian coalfields on rural development strategies to allow the
landless a voice in issues affecting the ownership and use of community
resources like land. The community has developed an effective model of
citizen control of resources through the community land trust (clt).
Rural areas such as ours have been the dumping grounds for urban toxics.
Often we don't know where the chemicals have been dumped. We have some
of the highest rates of cancer in the country along with extensive
environmental degradation due to strip mining. Our clt (Woodland
Community Land Trust, est. 1977, owns over 400 acres) just purchased a
200 acre mountaintop that has been stripped and not reclaimed. The
Brownfield concept is one approach we are studying. I am concerned that
the Urban focus on Brownfields will overshadow the special needs of
rural communities. Further, I am beginning to see that this is a
complicated process requiring lawyers. I look forward to working
with any of you that have an interest based on ethics/values and in
serving underrepresented rural constituencies. I am pleased to be part
of a list that has so many knowledgable members.
Woodland Community Land Trust
281 Roses Creek
Clairfield, TN 37715