Pipeline protest expands in Giles County with "aerial blockade"

(WDBJ)
Published: May. 21, 2018 at 8:39 PM EDT
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A second pipeline protester is now blocking a U.S. Forest Service Road in western Virginia.

Opponents of the Mountain Valley Pipeline established another protest site early Monday morning, about two and a half miles from the monopod on Pocahontas Road.

Photographs provided by the group Appalachians Against Pipelines show a small wooden platform about 30 feet in the air. Supporters say it's suspended from a rope that's tied to nearby trees.

Fern MacDougal says she is from Michigan, and was inspired by "Nutty," the pipeline protester who has been blocking Pocahontas Road for over 50 days.

"Sometimes we just have to get up and drop what we're doing and go try to protect those things," MacDougal said in a telephone interview.

The "aerial blockade" is different from the monopod, but the goal is the same: to prevent crews from the Mountain Valley Pipeline from using the forest service road to access the top of Peters Mountain and the point where the company plans to tunnel beneath the Appalachian Trail.

A third tree-sitter is still blocking the path of the pipeline there.

We attempted to contact representatives of the U.S Forest Service and the Mountain Valley Pipeline, but neither had responded Monday evening.