Appalachian Mountain Advocates has three long-term program priorities:
- Holding industry and government accountable by serving as a watchdog: State environmental protection agencies in Appalachia are notoriously underfunded and over-politicized. Appalachian Mountain Advocates works to strengthen environmental lawmaking and enforcement by bringing precedent-setting litigation designed to limit the destructive effects of polluting and extractive industries. In addition, we work to ensure that the federal and state agencies perform their responsibilities to enforce the law.
- Promoting an alternative future for Appalachia: For generations, resource extraction has driven public policy in our region. Yet the communities in the most resource-rich counties of the region are among the poorest in the nation. We develop policy proposals designed to right the inequities and propose alternative policies to allow sustainable economic development in the region.
- Nationalizing Appalachian issues: There are a handful of areas in the country that the environmental community, Congress, and the public treat as matters of national, rather than purely local, concern. Few would say that all decisions about the future of the Everglades, the old-growth forests of the Northwest and Alaska, or the Plateaus of Southern Utah should be left to local politicians seeking short-term economic gains. We seek to add the mountains, forests and streams of Appalachia to this list of special places.