Victory Declared on Chandler Mountain Land, Waters and Endangered Wildlife Saved from Destructive Project

Today we celebrate a significant victory for the people of Chandler Mountain, for the Big Canoe Creek watershed, and for all the living things that call this special area home, including the Canoe Creek clubshell and trispot darter, both of which are federally protected under the Endangered Species Act. Alabama Power has officially abandoned its land and water grab: the proposed pumped storage project that would drastically change the character of Chandler Mountain and the nearby communities of Steele, Gallant, Rainbow City and more. 

Dedicated community members worked together for months holding meetings and comment writing workshops to organize against this ill-conceived plan. Groups like Alabama Rivers Alliance, Coosa Riverkeeper, Energy Alabama, The Friends of Big Canoe Creek, the Center for Biological Diversity and Southern Environmental Law Center collaborated to support the community, and we are grateful for their tireless efforts to stop this project. By standing together and speaking up for the irreplaceable treasures of Chandler Mountain, we have proven that community members and conservation groups working together can triumph over corporate interests. 

We urge Alabama Power to continue to listen to the needs of this community – and all Alabama communities – as they determine our energy future.

QUOTE FROM ALABAMA RIVERS ALLIANCE

“This victory highlights the resilience and determination of those who value the land, waters, and world-class biodiversity of Alabama and want to protect it for generations to come. The surrender of Alabama Power’s permit and termination of its licensing activities underscores the critical role of public engagement and community advocacy in shaping responsible corporate behavior. We are thankful for our partners and new friends in Steele and the surrounding communities for standing together to Save Chandler Mountain, Jake Creek, Gulf Creek and Little Canoe Creek!” – Jack West, Director of Special Projects, Alabama Rivers Alliance

QUOTE FROM COOSA RIVERKEEPER

“We are thrilled that this vital part of the Coosa River watershed and the folks that love the area will be spared from this project. The Coosa River is a resource that provides life to so many communities and critters, and we are honored to be a part of a coalition that works to protect both the Coosa and Alabamians. The Coosa River has been a sacrifice zone for far too long, so we will continue to stand up for what is right for our waterways and our people.”  – Justinn Overton, Executive Director & Staff Riverkeeper, Coosa Riverkeeper

QUOTE FROM ENERGY ALABAMA

Energy Alabama is delighted to learn that Alabama Power will drop this disastrous project. Alabama Power should instead embrace lower-cost, cleaner technology options that exist today. Let this be a lesson for the rest of Alabama. Alabama Power is not all-powerful and we do not have to accept its exploitation of our people, communities and resources. Alabama deserves better.” – Sheree Martin, Deputy Director, Energy Alabama

QUOTE FROM CENTER FOR BIOLOGICAL DIVERSITY

“This dirty, energy-wasting, fossil fuel-burning boondoggle would have driven Alabama’s Canoe Creek clubshell extinct and jeopardized 30 other threatened and endangered animals and plants with extinction. This is a big win for Alabama’s wildlife and waters and everyone who loves them. I couldn’t be happier to see this terrible project get flushed down the tubes of discarded bad ideas.” – Perrin de Jong, Southeast staff attorney for the Center for Biological Diversity

QUOTE FROM THE FRIENDS OF BIG CANOE CREEK

“This is not the first time Alabama Power has considered a project like this in this area. The Friends of Big Canoe Creek was established in 1990 to protect Big Canoe Creek from a similar project in the watershed. We joined our neighbors opposing this and consider this victory a full circle for our watershed and our community.”- Vickey Wheeler, President, The Friends of Big Canoe Creek

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