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The Appalachian landscape was devastated by unmonitored corporate activities such as logging, coal mining, and strip mining.  

Marie Cirillo worked tirelessly to return land to the Appalachian people that had been taken by the unscrupulous practices of corporations.  According to statements in interviews, her pursuit of anti-strip mining legislations would lead to threats on her life.  Shots were fired into her house.  Windows were broken.  There were threats to burn down the house and rape the occupants.  The steering mechanism on her car was sabatoged, which led to a volunteer driving off the side of the mountain.

The land issue was one project of over fifty that would be pursued, followed through, and implemented by FOCIS. 

From quilting co-ops to a Bread and Chicken House, FOCIS left no stone unturned, resolutely working to insure that every possible opportunity for self-sustainment and overall well-being was explored and implemented for the Appalachian people.