Ohio University is poised to reach a settlement with Ohio Valley Coal
Company and the Ohio Division of Mineral Resources in which they will study the
affects of mining under Dysart Woods, and drop their appeal said OU Legal
Affairs Director John Burns.
“The purpose of an appeal is to stop the affects of mining, not study
them,” said Dysart Defenders Coordinator Chad Kister.
“Ohio University needs to stay in the appeal and not sell out for
short-term political expediency. Studying
is not enough. We already have a
plethora of data showing the adverse affects of mining on the hydrology of
Belmont County and the forests.
Dysart Defenders, with its attorney and expert witnesses will carry on
the struggle with its appeal of the Ohio Division of Mineral Resources permit
D-0360-12. That permit would
undermine all three old growth forest areas of Dysart Woods and allow room and
pillar mining all around the forest within 300 feet, close enough to cause
Dysart Woods is among the last .004 percent of old growth forest left in
Ohio. It is the only significant
stand of the old growth forest that once covered southeast Ohio. The 40+ year studies of Dysart make it a unique scientific
jewel. To allow mining by
definition takes away its unique status as a virgin forest. It destroys all of the scientific value of the forest for
future generations who need to learn how a virgin forest behaves by causing
And fundamentally, it is a moral low for Ohio, which has already
destroyed 99.996 percent of its original ancient forest to now destroy this last
fragment for a “resource,” coal. Coal
is in overabundance and should not be burned because of its plethora of
environmental problems such as global warming, acid rain, mercury, and
particulate pollutions that poisons and murders thousands of people every year
in Ohio according to the Public Research Interest Group.
We have an enormous amount of coal but only a tiny amount of old growth
forest. Ohio University signed a
pledge with the Nature Conservancy that it would act to protect Dysart Woods in
perpetuity. This settlement is a
gross violation of that pledge. OU
is a public institution. It is
critical that the public work to take back our university from those who are
making decisions to allow the destruction of Dysart Woods.
Donations are crucially needed to fund the legal appeal. Checks can be made to “Dysart Defenders” and mailed to P.O. Box 31; Athens OH 45701. Donations can also be made online at www.dysartwoods.org.