The Appalachian Chronicle is devoted to covering ecology and the energy extraction industry; music and the arts; and history and current events of central and southern Appalachia.

We cover the Allegheny Plateau and central Appalachia from Weston, W.Va. We cover the Blue Ridge Mountains and southern Appalachia from Lenoir, N.C.

Our objective is to offer insightful reporting and thought-provoking commentary on the vital issues affecting Appalachia.

Rather than reinvent the wheel regarding ethical standards, we embrace the standards of public broadcasting, which state in part, “At all times, we report for our readers and listeners, not our sources. So our primary consideration when presenting the news is that we are fair to the truth. If our sources try to mislead us or put a false spin on the information they give us, we tell our audience. If the balance of evidence in a matter of controversy weighs heavily on one side, we acknowledge it in our reports. We strive to give our audience confidence that all sides have been considered and represented fairly.”

I was born and raised in Clarksburg, W.Va. in the Allegheny Plateau of the Appalachian Mountains. In the mid-70s I moved to North Carolina. After spending much time in in both states for more than four decades, I am fortunate to enjoy relationships across the region that continue to serve as valuable sources for our reporting.

It was in the Mountain State I learned the value of history. Hours-long discussions around the dinner table or on the front porch on summer evenings were important times virtually every day. Mom and Dad easily recalled names, events, key moments and vital lessons from their childhood. Storytelling brought my ancestors to life.

It was also in West Virginia that I learned the value of the natural world. My back yard opened to a world of adventure, with ponds, narrow wooded paths, a creek and total solitude under a canopy of trees. As a Boy Scout and Explorer Scout, I was provided opportunities to learn virtually every valuable outdoor living skill and was provided with opportunities to explore caves, learn to rock climb, and simply enjoy the beauty and rich natural diversity of the Appalachian Mountains.

After moving to North Carolina, I was exposed to the majestic Blue Ridge Mountains, spending countless nights camping on hillsides and along creek banks in and around the Pisgah National Forest, hiking Stone Mountain State Park and venturing onto rarely used trails in the far western reaches of the state along the Georgia line.

The mountains of Appalachia have provided me with more joy and peace than I can recall. The people, vacations with our family, majestic and panoramic views, time for spiritual reflection and prayer, hikes, concerts in the hills, countless treks along the Blue Ridge Parkway and leisurely mornings in a cabin in a West Virginia State Park with close friends have all formed wonderful memories.

Famed architect Frank Lloyd Wright said, “Stay close to nature, it will never fail you.” While he was speaking of building houses, I believe, from my own experience, that it is also true for building a life. So, this site exists to help you stay close to the mountains, at least in your mind. It is my hope that what you read here will inspire you to join with others to preserve the Appalachian Mountains so that our children and grandchildren, and their children can enjoy the peace and joy that these venerable mountains offer. – Michael M. Barrick

CREDIT NOTE: Home page banner photo, Copyright Debbie Smith, 2005 – 2014


4 responses

  1. Hi Mike,have you had a chance to look over the information I gave you?

    Steve Garvin

  2. Hi,

    I’m Tokoni, A student and poet. Its nice to meet your I’d like to invite you to my blog, http://www.insanitybeautiful.wordpress.com if you’re interested. Thanks!

  3. Dear Michael, Have you heard of the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund (CELDF)? They have been building a movement for Community Rights and the Rights of Nature, the disregard for both of which is at the heart of the current state of affairs. I just received this newsletter from them. Website http://www.celdf.org. I would be interested to hear your thoughts on their approach by return email.


    We are pleased to announce that CELDF received a grant from the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation (LDF) in support of CELDF’s work to build a movement for Community Rights and the Rights of Nature. Thank you, LDF! Check out LDF’s work here, and see CELDF highlighted here.


    Athens County, OH, residents were victorious in a recent challenge to their community rights county charter initiative. Facing unprecedented volumes of fracking wastewater and the loss of clean water due to fracking, residents are working to create a county charter containing a Community Bill of Rights to establish the right to “direct democracy” through initiative and referendum powers, and ban fracking and its infrastructure. The Board of Elections attempted to block the proposed measure, and CELDF successfully defended the people’s right to place the measure on the ballot. Read more here.


    This month, CELDF travels to the Archipelago of San Andrés, Providencia, and Santa Catalina off the coast of Colombia. The Raizal people of the islands are allying with CELDF to advance their right to self-determination and the rights of nature. Read more about the threat they face from oil exploration, and their history of struggle for self-determination, here.

    Thank you,

    All of us at CELDF
    PO Box 360
    Mercersburg, PA 17236

  4. I am dismayed – very – that you are ceasing publication. You write wonderfully – such good insight and just the right touches of humor – and your love for Appalachia shines through. I don’t know how blogs actually work – but if there is any way to access everything you’ve written, online or in print, please – please – advise. – Nancy in WV

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