It was the largest armed confrontation in U.S. labor history.
Earlier this year, the National Trust for Historic Preservation, Sierra Club and Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition filed another petition to save the historic site from possible mining operations. The groups told the Division of Culture and History that they would sue in federal court if the site was not returned to the National Register.
Simmons praised the Division of Culture and History for renominating the site. "It is nice to see a state agency owning up to its responsibilities to the public interest," he said. "I hope it is not too late."
Also, state Highways Commissioner Paul A. Mattox Jr. has been considering a request to abandon a road often used by archaeologists and historians to get to the Blair Mountain site. The request involves 3.9 miles of County Route 119/7, near the town of Sovereign, known locally as the Old Fire Tower Road.
"No decision has been made. It is still being considered," Transportation spokesman Brent Walker said Friday.
"There is no immediate reason to make the decision, except to put minds at ease," Walker said. "Nobody is on standby. The landowners are not waiting with trucks to begin mining operations.
"We are very sensitive to the debate. We are still trying to figure out how we can make this a win-win situation."
Walker said the official comment period to the DOH has ended, but that agency officials regularly read any letters or e-mails sent to them.
Reach Paul J. Nyden at pjny...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-5164.