ODMR deems permit to undermine Dysart complete; Rally May 29

The Ohio Division of Mineral Resources (ODMR) has deemed complete Ohio Valley Coal Company permit D-0360-12. This is the first step in the permitting process that would allow the undermining of all of Dysart Woods, including its old growth forest sections.

This is the most devastating permit we have ever seen by far. This is 2,433.4 acres of mining including all of the 455 acres of Dysart Woods, a National Natural Landmark, and more than a thousand acres of its watershed buffer zone.

Dysart Defenders has a rally to protect Dysart Woods at the West Portico of Memorial Auditorium on Ohio University’s College Green next Wednesday, May 29 at noon to protest Ohio Valley Coal Company’s permit and to request that Ohio University, which owns Dysart Woods, do more to protect the forest.

There will be several speakers with the latest information about Ohio Valley Coal Company’s effort to undermine the last significant old-growth forest left in unglaciated Ohio.

Time is running out for Dysart Woods. This struggle has been quite long, but now is when we need people and support the most as Ohio Valley Coal Company is poised to undermine every acre of Dysart Woods.

Ohio University has not done enough to protect Dysart Woods. The U.S. Department of Interior also should step in and protect its National Natural Landmark.

The ODMR will first notify the media, then there will be a 30-day comment period. Dysart Defenders will also request a public hearing for the permit.

Dysart Woods is among the last .004 percent of remaining ancient forest in Ohio and is among the most endangered ecosystem on the planet according to the United States Department of Interior Biological Survey.

Both longwall and room and pillar mining are disastrous to forests. They drain the water table and cause subsidence, an earthquake like settling of the ground into the mine voids that can topple trees and leave sink holes such as those that recently formed under Interstate 70 near Dysart Woods.