A True Miracle: What it Means to Visit Miracle Ridge

By Nancy Hugo

I knew I was under-informed about Atlantic Coast Pipeline issues before I visited Miracle Ridge, but I didn’t know how much I was until last weekend.

That’s when I met Bill and Lynn Limpert, along with Sam Wright, who is helping the them organize “camptivists” visiting their property.

“Come,” was the Limpert’s invitation, “just to see where the pipeline will go.” There was no demand for action, no requirement to report on the experience. But you can’t visit a place like that without wanting to do something to oppose the pipeline.

As a “tree person,” I expected it to be tree impressions that remained strongest in my memory after the visit. Those impressions are rich: beautiful sugar maples — including one old “hub” tree that probably pre-dates European settlement — are among those that would be destroyed by the pipeline.

But the strongest impression I came away with has more to do with terrain than trees. It’s the topography of Miracle Ridge — its steep sides, rocky substrate, and thin soil, that makes it seem uniquely vulnerable to disturbance.

And what a disturbance this would be. Clearcutting an area 125 feet wide and blasting that would reduce this fragile area to rubble.

And for what? To transport natural gas that isn’t needed in Virginia to the coast for sale overseas? To support fracking (which we know to be environmentally catastrophic) in West Virginia? To destroy private land for the profit of Dominion Power?

Knowing that it is I (and every other Dominion ratepayer in Virginia) who will be paying for this vast, unnecessary destruction adds to the horror of it.

Today, in Ashland, I had lunch with a group of activists opposing the pipeline. In their company, I felt even more embarrassed by my ignorance, but, inspired by Sam and the Limperts, at least now I’m not totally unaware of what’s happening. And I’m determined to do what I can to oppose the pipeline.

Sign today up to join “No Pipeline Summer: A Camp to Save the Limperts’ Land.