The Alliance for Appalachia

The Alliance for Appalachia is a group of 13 organizations from five states in Central Appalachia that work together to end mountaintop-removal coal mining, stop destructive mining technologies, and support a sustainable, just economy through grassroots organizing, leadership development, strategic communications, alliance building, research, and litigation. By highlighting the dangers and true costs of the region’s dependence on coal, the Alliance intends to move the nation toward a new ethic of conservation, efficiency, and renewable energy.

Appalachian Community Economic Networks (ACEnet)

ACEnet’s mission is to build networks, support innovation, and facilitate collaboration with Appalachian Ohio’s businesses to create a strong, sustainable regional economy. ACEnet utilizes key strategies to maximize asset development, economic opportunity, and sustainability in the region. ACEnet operates two business incubators and offers counseling, training, and loans to Appalachian Ohio businesses.

Appalachian Farmers Market Association

The Appalachian Farmers Market Association (AFMA) operates to support and sustain a viable network of community Farmers Markets throughout the Appalachian region of east Tennessee and western Virginia. This volunteer organization comprises representatives from each of the participating farmers’ markets. Its goals are to offer economic opportunities for farmers, food producers, and crafters; increase public awareness of farmers’ markets; provide education and training to farmers’ market managers, customers, and vendors; mentor and support new farmers’ markets; and increase the availability of fresh, local foods to households of all income levels.

Appalachian Regional Commission

ARC is a regional economic development agency that represents a partnership of federal, state, and local governments. Established by an act of Congress in 1965, ARC is composed of the governors of the 13 Appalachian states and a federal co-chair appointed by the president. Local participation is provided through multi-county local development districts. Each year, ARC provides funding for several hundred projects in the Appalachian Region, in areas such as business development, education and job training, telecommunications, infrastructure, community development, housing, and transportation.

Center for Economic Options in West Virginia

The Center for Economic Options is a nonprofit organization in West Virginia that works with entrepreneurs to develop socially, economically, and environmentally sustainable enterprises that foster individual and community wealth. CEO has developed an enterprise support program—the Green Business, Green Jobs Accelerator—to help entrepreneurs start and expand sustainable businesses, create jobs, and contribute to the health and wealth of their communities.

Central Appalachian Network

The Central Appalachian Network (CAN) is a group of seven nonprofits that have worked in over 150 counties in Central Appalachia. Member organizations employ a variety of strategies that focus on building partnerships, performing research and public education, developing policy and infrastructure, supporting entrepreneurs, providing technical and business assistance, and building value-added assets. CAN’s goal is to transform Central Appalachia’s economy by creating economic opportunities that are environmentally sustainable, building on the region’s social and natural capital, and meeting the needs of its people.

EarthCraft House

The EarthCraft House is a voluntary green building program that was co-created by the Greater Atlanta Homebuilders’ Association and Southface Energy Institute. EarthCraft House construction techniques and materials are geared to reduce utility bills and pollution, conserve natural resources, and protect the environment. The EarthCraft House certification process follows a checklist designed to verify that each EarthCraft home addresses site planning, energy efficient techniques and equipment, waste management, and indoor air quality.

Federation of Appalachian Housing Enterprises

A group of socially conscious entrepreneurs started FAHE to allow affordable housing providers to share experiences, form a unified voice, and share access to resources to develop quality housing. The federation “envision[s] Appalachia as a place proud of sustaining its culture and environment, where growth, opportunity and hope are balanced so that all people fulfill their potential with regard to housing, employment, educational opportunity and quality of life.”

Forest Opportunities Initiative

The Forest Opportunities Initiative is a program of the Mountain Association for Community Economic Development (MACED) that promotes sustainable forest management on private, non-industrial forest lands. The initiative is the first in Central Appalachia to compensate forest landowners for the carbon sequestered by their sustainably managed forests, linking the global issue of climate change directly to local sustainable development. The FOI’s goals include increasing the ecological health and economic value of forests; increasing the practice of sustainable forest management; connecting landowners to new revenue options; strengthening the sustainable forestry value chain by enhancing Forest Stewardship Council certification opportunities; and advocating for effective state and federal policy that promotes sustainable forestry.

Green Scissors Coalition

The Green Scissors Campaign, led by Friends of the Earth, Taxpayers for Common Sense, and U.S. Public Interest Research Group, works with Congress and the executive branch to end environmentally harmful and wasteful spending. The Campaign highlights programs for reform in the following six sectors: agriculture, energy, international and military programs, public lands, transportation, and water. Green Scissors recommends ways the government can protect natural resources, reduce unnecessary government spending, and help guide the nation toward a more sustainable economic and ecological future.

Mountain Association for Community Economic Development

MACED works to create economic alternatives in Central Appalachia in order to create a vibrant economy, protect natural resources, and engage residents to improve the quality of life in Appalachian communities. MACED uses three major strategies: providing financial investments and technical assistance that help local people and communities prosper; conducting research to inform and support good public policy; and crafting effective development tools. Their programs help businesses that are committed to building sustainable and vibrant local economies, promote energy efficiency to small businesses and nonprofits; and partner with public officials, organizations, experts, and citizens to identify governmental rules, investments, and incentives that can help move the region forward.

The Natural Capital Investment Fund

The Natural Capital Investment Fund provides capital to small and emerging natural resource–based businesses throughout North Carolina, northeast Tennessee, southwest Virginia, and West Virginia who have limited access to capital from traditional sources. NCIF is affiliated with The Conservation Fund, a national nonprofit organization with a dual mission of land and water conservation and economic development.

Rural Action

Rural Action’s mission is to foster social, economic, and environmental justice in Appalachian Ohio. Rural Action envisions a region of clean streams, healthy forests, thriving family farms, meaningful jobs, and vibrant communities. Rural Action builds model sustainable development projects and encourages a broad civic conversation around Appalachian Ohio’s assets in order to create sustainable development paths for the region.

Sustainable Woods

Sustainable Woods is an enterprise operated by the nonprofit Appalachian Sustainable Development (ASD). The company works with landowners to identify and inventory forest resources and to develop timber harvest plans. It teaches loggers ecologically, economically, and socially sound timber harvesting practices. Sustainable Woods believes that through proper stewardship, quality forest products can be obtained while enhancing the natural environment, protecting air and water quality, conserving biodiversity and wildlife, and providing recreational opportunities.

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