NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Bird enthusiasts said they're dismayed by U.S. Rep. Zach Wamp's recent assertion that surface coal mining is good for the state's feathered flocks.
Wamp made the statements at a Republican gubernatorial candidate forum last month. Wamp said he spoke with scientists and fishing and wildlife experts.
But bird expert Melinda Welton said it's not true. She said no current surface coal mining practices are beneficial to birds that depend on the forested slopes of the Cumberland Mountains of Tennessee.
A local newspaper made requests for the names of the experts Wamp had spoken to. Wamp has not provided the names, but recalled that they were with people from the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency and the Tennessee Wildlife Federation and a University of Tennessee biologist.
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