Coal companies may mine the area, and a lawsuit was filed in 2010 by several groups, including the Sierra Club, Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition and Friends of Blair Mountain, seeking to restore the area to the register. Judge Reggie Walton of the District of Columbia ruled that the groups had no legal standing because no coal companies had announced "immediate plans to begin mining on Blair Mountain," Nyden reports. (Read more)
Ken Ward Jr. of the Gazette's Coal Tattoo puts it this way: "The judge ruled that the citizen groups could not meet one of the requirements to show 'standing' to bring the case, that of 'redressability,' or that a favorable ruling from the court would redress their injury." As a result, the judge said in his decision "that the surface mining would be permitted on the Blair Mountain Battlefield as a result of permits that were acquired prior to the historic district's inclusion on the National Register."
In 1921, more than 10,000 union miners fought with armed company employees and contractors along the ridge along the Logan-Boone County border for a number of things, including better working conditions. The battle lasted eight days, and only ended after federal troops and air support intervened.