September 29, 1997

OU Campus Greens President Chad Kister: 594-7287 or
OU Student Senate Environmental Awareness Commissioner Jeff Baran: 589-6130
Lisa Helms, Friends of Dysart Woods: 614-425-1470

Citizens mobilize to save Dysart Woods

 Citizens will deliver a petition with more than 5,000 signatures
to the Ohio Division of Mines and Reclamation this Wednesday, at 10 a.m.,
October 1 at 1855 Fountain Square Court, Building H-3, Columbus, asking
that Ohio Valley Coal Company permits #6 and #7 be denied.  An ODMR
supervisor will receive the petitions as arranged.

 Meanwhile, the Ohio University Student Senate unanimously passed a
resolution late last week opposing any mining closer to Dysart Woods,
citing "massive student support for preserving Dysart Woods."

 Also last week, hundreds of letters were mailed and hand delivered
to Governor George Voinovich and ODMR Chief Lisa Morris asking that
permits #6 and #7 be denied.

 Dysart Woods Defender Chad Kister met with Morris and ODMR
supervisors Bill Stirling and Harry Payne on Friday, where he reiterated
the concerns of citizens that Dysart Woods be protected by the watershed
buffer zone submitted by Ohio University and a minimum of two miles from
the university property.

 Stirling said the division had received "hundreds and hundreds of
letters against permit 6 and 7 and zero in favor of them."  "But he did
not acknowledge any significance in this," Kister said.  "Apparently it is
big money, not democracy that rules our government, at it is at the risk
of our last ancient forest."

 Harry Payne said that the ODNR had said that it needed a million
dollar study before it could ascertain whether mining would damage Dysart
Woods.  Kister asked, "So how can you make a conclusion on Permit 6 or 7
without that million dollar study?"  They had no answer.

 To get to the ODNR, take I-71 to Morris Road east.  Fountain
Square is just passed Northland Mall