Dysart Woods rally Thursday to include Glidden

Dysart Defenders and POPLAR will play a subsidence game of Twister in a demonstration to protect Dysart Woods Thursday, May 29 at noon at the West Portico of Memorial Auditorium on College Green, followed by an appearance by OU President Robert Glidden where students will present him with hundreds of post cards written over the past several weeks.

The groups are asking that Ohio University commit to appealing Ohio Valley Coal Company’s permit D-0360-12 that would undermine every acre of Dysart Woods.  The university has hinted of not appealing the permit that would allow room and pillar mining under the old growth forest portions and longwall mining within 300 feet of the ancient forest.

Longwall mining takes all of a seam of coal, then lets the ground above crash down.  Room and pillar mining leaves pillars of coal in place.  Though room and pillar mining subsidence takes longer, it does occur.  Furthermore, the Ohio Division of Mineral Resources has reported the dewatering of wells up to a mile and a half from longwall mining panels.  This dewatering would reach all of the old growth forest with just the longwall mining, not including the room and pillar mining.

“Citizens need to act now before it is too late,” said Dysart Defenders Coordinator Chad Kister.  “We do not have much time left, and we need Ohio University’s support to have a better chance of stopping mining directly underneath this amazing ancient forest.  These are among the very few 500-year old trees left in Ohio.  To sacrifice them for coal, a very abundant mineral, is ecological insanity.”

Ohio University should be applauded for hiring attorney Robert Shostak, but the university needs to take the next step of committing to appealing the –12 permit.

“As head of the public institution delegated to be caretakers of Dysart Woods, Dr. Glidden is responsible to not only the students of the university, but to all of the citizens of Ohio.  I hope to see him stand strong and stay true to his word by appealing this permit.  The area slated for mining under the -12 permit will cause damage to OU’s surface property, and when it does, it will be back in court for a lawsuit against OVCC, but the integrity of the forest will be lost forever.” Peter Gibbons, Citizen.