October 29, 1997

Lisa Morris
Chief, Division of Mines and Reclamations
1855 Fountain Square Court Building H-3
Columbus, Ohio 43220

Dear Lisa Morris,

 As a citizen of Ohio I ask you to deny permit #D0360-7 that would
permit Ohio Valley Coal Co. to mine under the watershed of Dysart Woods
that could damage the forest according to nationally-renowned scientists.
The top Ohio University administration has called for your denying this
permit and for you to take a zero-risk approach for some of our last
virgin forest left.

 Further, I ask you to extend the comment period beyond October.
It is premature to close discussion on this critical issue.  Ohio Valley
Coal Co. keeps saying it is years and years before they will mine near
Dysart Woods, so please extend the comment period at least months on
permit #7 to provide for adequate comment by citizens.  Adequate
information is not available on the potential impacts that permit 7 would
have on the ancient forest.

 Ohio University Vice President for Administration Gary North spoke
against permit #7 at the ODMR public hearing in Belmont County August 4.
"The number seven permit encroaches on that area designated as a buffer
zone and particularly the watershed area that could impact the future of
Dysart Woods.  We are especially concerned with the southwest corner of
the petition that overlaps the buffer zone, the designated area that
people working with us have suggested needs to be protected from mining in
order to protect the water source that feeds these trees," North said at
the hearing.

 North continued, "We are greatly concerned about this continued
encroachment.  Petition 6, now petition 7, possibly a petition 8 to come
shortly thereafter which would bring mining even closer and possibly under
the woods.  As we have said on previous occasions, we believe some
mutually established and agreed to restriction or buffer zone is the most
appropriate way to protect the woods and the area around the woods."

 OU Attorney David Northrop said at the hearing, "Dr. North has
spoken eloquently that we believe longwall mining in area 7 may harm
Dysart Woods.  Dysart Woods lies less than a half mile to the South of
permit #7 so it is very close.  This permit is coming perilously close to
Dysart Woods.  Dysart Woods  is in our view the crown jewel of Ohio's
natural areas and preserves.  It should be preserved and protected at all

 OU's attorney said the ODMR would be acting illegally it granted
permit #7 because the permit failed to adequately consider the impacts on
Dysart Woods.

For Dysart Woods.