Poor Mountain from across Poages Valley in Roanoke, Virginia.
|Elevation||3,928 ft (1,197 m)|
|Prominence||1,448 ft (441 m)|
|Location||Montgomery / Roanoke counties, Virginia, U.S.|
|Range||Appalachian Mountains, Blue Ridge Mountains|
|Topo map||USGS Elliston|
Poor Mountain has the largest known population, by far, of piratebush (Buckleya distichophylla), a plant which draws nutrients from the roots of Eastern Hemlock trees. Piratebush is found only in limited numbers at a few other locations in Virginia, North Carolina, and Tennessee. The Poor Mountain Natural Area Preserve has been established to protect this population.
Twelve O'clock Knob is located adjacent to Poor Mountain in Roanoke County directly south of Salem, Virginia. The north slope of the ridgeline formed by Poor Mountain and Twelve O'clock Knob marks the southwestern boundary of the Roanoke Valley. Fort Lewis Mountain is located directly across the valley from Poor Mountain.
Poor Mountain is the location of several broadcasting antennas for radio and television stations in the Roanoke, Virginia-Lynchburg, Virginia Designated Market Area (DMA). On the apex of the mountain in what's referred to as an "antenna farm" are the broadcasting antennas on towers for radio stations WVTF(FM) 89.1, licensed to the Virginia Tech Foundation, Inc.; W220BD 91.9, licensed to Family Radio; and three radio stations licenced to Mel Wheeler, Incorporated, WXLK(FM) 92.3; WSLC-FM 94.9; and WSLQ(FM) 99.1. Digital television stations located in the antenna farm are WBRA-TV 3 (PSIP Channel 15), WDBJ-TV 18 (PSIP Channel 7), WSLS-TV 30 (PSIP Channel 10), WFXR-TV 17 (PSIP Channel 27), WPXR-TV 36 (PSIP Channel 38), and WEDD-LD 26. All of these stations are licensed to Roanoke. Other telecommunication antennas and towers for local, county, state and national public service, are also located on Poor Mountain, and their flashing Federal Aviation Authority tower lights can be seen from dozens of miles away, especially at night.
The antennas for the other primary digital TV stations in the Roanoake DMA, WSET-TV 13 (PSIP Channel 13) and WWCW 20 (PSIP Channel 21) are located on towers on Thaxton Mountain, halfway between Lynchburg and Roanoke. Prior to the 2009 digital TV transition, WSET could not locate on Poor Mountain because of an inability to provide analog "city-grade" coverage of Lynchburg from that site, in addition to short-spacing concerns with WOWK-TV in Huntington, West Virginia.
The Poor Mountain broadcast antenna farm is a good example of radio and TV stations, co-locating their broadcast towers near each other on the highest point near their Federal Communications Commission (FCC) city of license. The nearest "antenna farm" to Poor Mountain is on Holston Mountain in upper East Tennessee, home to most of the FM and TV stations in the Tri-Cities (Bristol, Virginia-Kingsport, Tennessee-Johnson City, Tennessee) DMA. Although most radio and TV stations are in fierce competition with each other in their broadcast markets, they will often locate their broadcasting antennas very near each other, and in some cases, will even share land or towers with each other, in the interests of space, land availability, and the cost of putting a transmission building on top of a mountain. Other examples of co-located towers on mountain peaks in the United States are on Signal Mountain near Chattanooga, Tennessee; Sharp's Ridge in Knoxville, Tennessee; Red Mountain in Birmingham, Alabama; Mount Wilson near Los Angeles; the Sutro Tower in Clarendon Heights near Mount Sutro in San Francisco; Lookout Mountain, Colorado near Denver; Cedar Hill between Dallas and Fort Worth; South Mountain Park near Phoenix; Nelson Peak near Salt Lake City; Sandia Crest near Albuquerque, New Mexico; and probably the most famous broadcast antenna farm of all: the World Trade Center Tower One, on which many of the New York City television and several FM stations had their antennas. All were lost when Twin Towers One and Two collapsed after the September 11 attacks in 2001. Most of those stations now broadcast from their previous home, 200 feet lower, on the Empire State Building.
Wind farm bid
The mountain is under consideration for the placement of a wind farm. Reportedly, Invenergy Wind LLC dropped the idea of putting wind turbines on Poor Mountain and neighboring Bent Mountain, as a study concluded that the potential energy would overload the existing electricity transmission lines found in the immediate area, however they have not and are still trying to pass the project through state and local government venues. They already have the land leased for up to 54 of the 443 foot tall wind turbines.
- "Poor Mountain, Virginia". Peakbagger.com. Retrieved 2008-12-21.
- "Virginia P1000 Summits". Peaklist.org. Retrieved 2008-12-31.
- "Buckleya distichophylla". CPC National Collection Plant Profile. Center for Plant Conservation. Retrieved 2008-12-31.
- "Poor Mountain Natural Area Preserve". Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation. Retrieved 2008-12-31.
- Company drops bid to put wind farm in region - Roanoke.com