September 24, 1997

OU Student Senate Environmental Awareness Commissioner Jeff Baran: 589-6130
Environmental Activist Chad Kister 594-7287 or

Student Senate to hear motion for Dysart Wood's protection

 Ohio University Student Environmental Awareness Commissioner Jeff
Baran will introduce a motion commending the activities of those working
to preserve Dysart Woods, and asking that OU and the Ohio Division of
Mines and Reclamation take a strong stance on preserving Dysart Woods at
their meeting Thurdsday, September 25 at 7 p.m. in the Corner Room of
Baker Center (across from the Front Room).

 Students are expected to attend and voice support for preserving
Ohio's last significant stand of unglaciated ancient forest.  The forest
is priceless in its scientific and ecological value.

 The U.S. Department of the Interior declared endangered ecosystems
as a primary concern for protecting biodiversity.  The Eastern
old-growth-forest topped the list of the most endangered ecosystems left
in North America.  According to the national report, "The secondary
forests, mostly in the Appalachian Plateau of Ohio, are heavily fragmented
by roads, gas pipelines, unreclaimed strip mines, clear-cuts and other
intrusions.  Like most second-growth forests, they are structurally
impoverished to old-growth forests.  Only some small patches of old-growth
forest remain in Ohio."

 The Department of the Interior reported a greater than 99.9
percent loss of the old-growth forest in the central hardwood region
(including Ohio).  In Ohio, we have lost more than 99.996 percent of our
ancient forest, with Dysart Woods being much of the remaining.  Dysart is
listed as a National Natural Landmark administered under the Department of
the Interior.  The federal government should be more involved in Dysart
Woods' preservation.