Appalachian Land Study Peer Exchange

10/25/2019 - 8:00am to 10/27/2019 - 5:00pm
Benham, KY
Members of the Appalachian Land Study collective met at Benham Schoolhouse Inn in Harlan County, KY the weekend of October 25th-27th. The Appalachian Land Study is a community-scholarly collaboration in Central Appalachia with the mission of providing accurate data about land and mineral ownership and public revenues to communities, scholars, local governments, and other stakeholders. The study follows up on a groundbreaking participatory action research study, Who Owns Appalachia?, that was completed in 1979. The earlier study found that throughout much of the region, land and minerals are predominantly owned by absentee corporations who contribute only a small percentage of total property taxes. The current study emerged out of a desire to revisit land ownership as Appalachia’s economy changes in the context of global economic and energy shifts.
The “peer exchange” meeting consisted of community members from eastern Kentucky, West Virginia, and Tennessee who are all working locally to research public records, map land ownership, and connect with local people about their stories and connections to the land. Several members of the University of Kentucky community are involved in the wider regional effort, and Lindsay Shade (Dept of Community & Leadership Development) convened the October meeting. The event was co-sponsored by the Appalachian Center, Department of Community and Leadership Development, Alliance for Appalachia, Highlander Research and Education Center, and Livelihoods Knowledge Exchange Network.  
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