to the editor,
Dysart Woods, among the finest ancient forest left in Ohio, is
imminent peril. A diversity of trees 400 to 500 years old, five feet in
diameter and more than 160 feet tall are among a tiny fragment of the vast
ancient Ohio forest that once covered 95 percent of our state. This is a
critical hour in the struggle to save Dysart Wood. We desperately need
greater action and numbers of people standing up for our last ancient
forest if it is to be saved.
This is among the very few virgin forests that to the knowledge
scientists has never been logged or damaged except for the encroaching
longwall mining and air pollution. But the ODMR just passed Ohio Valley
Coal Co.'s permit D0360-6 to mine a mile and a half from Dysart Woods,
that will damage the forest if not stopped.
Worse, the next Ohio Valley Coal Co. permit, whose comment period
is up at the end of this month (D0360-7) will undermine and seriously
damage the watershed that Dysart Woods depends upon. Mining would be
directly upstream of the ancient trees, sucking away their water according
to mountains of scientific data.
Damaging Ohio University's property would violate Ohio law if
loss cannot be replicated. How can Ohio Valley Coal Co. replace a 500
year old tree?
Citizens from around the state will hold an informational session
in Columbus at 10 a.m. at the Ohio Division of Mines and Reclamations
Headquarters, 1855 Fountain Square Court, building H-3 (off Morris Road).
Ohio citizens are encouraged to take time off work or school to do your
part in this movement. This is the critical hour. Action is needed now.
Though the ancient forest would perpetuate itself forever if left
to be, the time for these 400-500 year old trees is running out. What
will we say to our children if we let Dysart Woods be destroyed?