Community Member

Clinch Coalition

Wise, Virginia

The Clinch Coalition, founded in 1998, is dedicated to protecting the forests, wildlife, and watersheds of the Clinch Ranger District in southwest Virginia’s Jefferson National Forest. Their mission is to safeguard the unique ecosystem of the High Knob and the Clinch Valley Bioreserve, preserving the rich biodiversity for future generations. Extensive logging, flash flooding, and weakened environmental regulations endanger the delicate balance of these natural habitats. With a legacy of accomplishments, including halting destructive projects, establishing protected areas, and engaging the public through educational programs and rallies, they continue to make a tangible impact. They remain steadfast in their commitment to the environment, empowering citizens, and ensuring the sustainability of the Clinch Valley’s natural treasures.

View from the High Knob Observation Tower.

Focusing primarily on High Knob Mountain, the group advocates for economic and environmental sustainability while fostering a welcoming, inclusive, and equitable community. They believe that “Undergirding [their] commitment is the conviction that all human beings are interconnected, not just with one another, but with all of nature.” Sharon Fisher is the coalition’s president, supported by ten board members and three organizing staff. Their goals include improving economic and environmental sustainability in the region, raising environmental awareness, and protecting the unique ecosystems and environmental integrity of the Clinch Ranger District. With over 25 years of advocacy and engagement, The Clinch Coalition has served in a wide variety of ways, from organizing annual rallies to fighting lawsuits.

Devil’s Fork Trail, Jefferson National Forest.

For more information:

Watch Now: UVa-Wise team hunts for amphibians in SW Va.’s high-altitude wetlands – Bristol Herald Courier, July 2021

DEQ, recreation authority sign agreement on Spearhead Trails system – The Times News, May 2021

Endangered Candy Darter Fish Wins 368 Stream Miles of Protected Critical Habitat in Virginia, West Virginia – Center for Biological Diversity, April 2021

January 2021 Litigation – The Smokey Wire: National Forest News and Views, February 2021

The Clinch Coalition starts Leave A Tip online reporting tool for environmental damage – Times News, February 2021

Virginia groups sue U.S. Forest Service over new environmental review standards – The Virginia Mercury, January 2021

Southwest Virginia lawsuit seeks to stop rollback of protections for all national forests – The Roanoke Times, January 2021

Lawsuit: Stop Trump administration’s parting shot at national forests: Conservationists challenge rule blocking citizens and science from forest management – Southern Environmental Law Center, January 2021

A2 Staff

A2 Staff

This profile was compiled by a dedicated team of staff members who conducted interviews and gathered information from various outlets, including news articles, social media, and other sources.


Sharon Fisher
Melissa Hines


Social Media

Climate Impacts

Air Pollution, Flooding, Water Contamination, Wildfires


Fighting Industrial Contamination, Halting Bad Development, Nature-Based Solutions, Renewable Energy

501c3 Tax Deductible


Accepting Donations