The Daily Pulse:

Are You One of Wamp's Missing Bird Experts?

Last month, U.S. Rep. and gubernatorial hopeful Zach Wamp said in a GOP candidates forum  that responsible coal mining is beneficial to birds and to the environment.

Coal mining is "actually good for the birds, and good for the environment. ... to actually mine coal in a responsible way," Wamp said, according to the AP.

He attributed this belief to experts he had met in Campbell County. Yet other bird experts were skeptical of the claim, and The Tennessean has made three separate requests without success for the names of those Wamp referenced.
Wamp has still not provided their names but said the experts were from the Tennessee Wildlife Federation and Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, and that there was a biologist from the University of Tennessee.

He also explained that what he meant was that much of the new mining done in Tennessee occurs at old, abandoned sites, and that reclamation of abandoned mines is good for birds and the environment--which is not really the same, nor is it true.

"There are no current surface coal mining practices that are beneficial to the birds that depend on the forested slopes of the Cumberland Mountains of Tennessee," Melinda Welton, of BirdWorks Consulting in Franklin, told The Tennessean.
If you or anyone you know can provide information on the whereabouts of Wamp's experts, please write to

Comments » 1

  • March 09, 2010
  • 4:33 PM
Paige Travis writes:

This sounds familiar. In 1997, I was among a group of people lobbying for clean air in Washington, DC. During our visit with Wamp at his office, he cheerily claimed that the toxic smog that plagues the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is merely the low-lying fog and clouds that inspired the park's name.

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