The APPAL Project

APPAL logo

Alliance of People Protecting Lands in Appalachia is a network of people watching out for each other’s land. It is not legally binding, has no liabilities, and there are no dues for its members. You do not have to be a member of CCA to be in APPAL.  If you have any questions or are interested in becoming a member of APPAL contact Jeannie Kirkhope at

  • Whereas CCA is a network of faith-based people raising a prophetic voice for Appalachia and her people, The APPAL Project offers a concrete, action-oriented expression of this mission.
  • Whereas CCA is committed to the care of creation, The APPAL Project provides an opportunity for CCA as a whole to practice stewardship of the land.
  • Whereas CCA stands in solidarity with its members on issues of concern to them, APPAL addresses serious needs that directly affect members of our organization.

There are a handful of CCA members who live on or are involved with land they want to steward and/or keep protected.  People on rural land trusts and living sustainably on lands in intentional communities encounter unique problems unlike those in urban areas, and struggle for solutions without a network.  In addition, historically, they have difficulty succession planning for the protection of their lands in perpetuity.  To fill these important needs for the people, and to avoid having protected lands put back on the open market, Catholic Committee of Appalachia has initiated The APPAL Project.

The first part of the project entailed creating a network for the people on these lands. Therefore, CCA started the Alliance of People Protecting Appalachian Lands (APPAL).  The purpose of APPAL is to provide a community of solidarity and a network of support for those wanting to steward and preserve lands in the region, and to offer pro-active assistance to them in planning for perpetuity.

The second part of the project was to commit to providing an employee or volunteer as Facilitator to ensure the functions of the Alliance are carried out in an ongoing way.  CCA’s Coordinator, Jeannie Kirkhope, currently serves in that capacity.

Functions of APPAL and its Facilitator (CCA staff or volunteer):

  1. The Facilitator will maintain and monitor this page on the CCA website for online forums for APPAL members to network, ask questions, share ideas, support one another and encourage new members.
  2. Each year, the Facilitator will check-in with APPAL members, and request from them an updated roster with name and contact information of the board members or intentional community members and the lands they seek to protect.
  3. The Facilitator will provide this updated roster to APPAL members for network and support, and keep it in CCA files.
  4. The Facilitator will report the status of the lands in APPAL to CCA’s board of directors.
  5. If necessary, when needed, the Facilitator will alert all APPAL members that particular land is in need of succession planning, or in danger of being lost.  APPAL members will then be available to assist in securing overseers, so the land can remain protected and in use for its intended purpose.  If, for whatever reason, no one is left to ensure protection of the lands, APPAL members will be available to appoint appropriate people to do so, in accordance with the charter of the Trust or Community.

To date, people from 4 pieces of land, utilized for a various purposes, are in the Alliance with others awaiting approval from their boards.

1) Regional Land Trust of West Virginia (R. L. T. W. V.)- Spencer, WV
Physical Address: 1060 Steel Hollow Rd.  Spencer, WV  25276
President: Mary Wildfire –
Secretary: Brenda Wilson –
    Website –

2)  Sunny Bank Farm Charitable Trust – Spencer, WV
Physical address: 1998 Lick Fork Rd.  Spencer, WV  25276
Trustee: Tom Whittier –
President of the Board: Chuck Conner –

3) Curtis Pike Community – Richmond, KY
Physical Address: 1468 Curtis Pike   Richmond, KY  40475
Land Owner – Rob Weise, Margie Stelzer –
    Websites –

4) Woodland Land Trust – Clairfield, TN
Physical Address: 469 Roses Creek Rd, Clairfield, TN 37715
Contact: Marie Cirillo –

5) J.A.S.M.E.R Land Trust – Kermit, WV
6) Narrow Ridge Land Trust – Washburn, TN
7) Black Fox Community Land Trust – Washburn, TN

2 Responses to The APPAL Project

  1. Marie Cirillo says:

    At this moment I would like to be activelly engaged, but probably not for the Woodland Community Land Trust. I was one of the founders. I was on the national board. I now live on the land trust. However they have no staff dealing with the fundamentals of a CLT so in this holding pattern I would hesitate to do something in their name. I have offered to help them find a staff person and to help find some money, but I have gotten no response. So if I can be the one engaged until the organization is ready to say yes, I think I could, as a founder and resident, contribute to this Great Work. Thomas Berry would be proud.

    Also, am I right, that even with the title CCA we are not all Catholic? Are they ties to other denominations or set free to search for the God within that is giving form and substance to a rebirth — a resurrection — a coming to life in new ways? Marie

  2. jkirkhope says:

    Does anyone know of other land trusts or intentional communities who might be interested in or in need of APPAL?

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