December 10, 1997

Contact: Dysart Defender Chad Kister: 614-594-7287 or

Activists to speak at OU Trustee meeting Friday

 Environmental activists will speak against OU's backsliding of
opposition to Permit 7 that threatens Dysart Woods at an OU Board of
Trustees meeting this Friday Dec. 12 at 1:30 p.m. in McGuffey Hall on the
College Green.  OU Professors Brian McCarthy and Ted Bernard will try to
attend and speak at the meeting as well, but have uncertain time

 Citizens and media are encouraged to attend the meeting to
encourage OU to stick to its original opposition to the permit that
includes more than a square mile of mining within the watershed buffer
zone that OU has called for protecting for 20 years.

 On November 6 at a League of Women Voter's Forum held at the
Athens Public Library, John Kotowski said that OU asked the Ohio Division
of Mines and Reclamations (ODMR) to take out the watershed buffer zone
portion of permit 7.   The ODMR is expected to make a decision any day on
permit 7.  OU would have 30 days to appeal ... if only they would.

 Last August 4, OU Vice President for Administration Gary North
spoke against permit 7.  At the same hearing OU-hired attorney David
Northrop said the ODMR would be acting illegally if it granted permit 7.
The well-respected environmental attorney submitted pages of legal and
scientific reasons why the buffer zone delineated by hydrologists and
supported by forest ecologists should be protected, and removed from
permit 7.

 But recently, top OU administrators have said they are no longer
willing to commit to stopping permit 7, saying it is a done deal.

 OU Legal Affairs Director John Burns wrote Activist Chad Kister on
Dec. 8 in response to Kister's questions over why OU was backsliding, "As
to the 'buffer zone', it is quite correct Ohio University has relied on
Dr. Moid Ahmad's defined 'buffer zone' for almost 20 years.  However, as
you know, ODNR has rejected this 'buffer zone', so frankly, we are
reviewing more information and data to establish a more updated 'buffer
zone' concept, that will both be specific and acceptable to ODNR.  We are
working on that goal currently, and it may result in a similar or altered
'buffer zone.'"

 "OU must be firm against Permit 7 and protect the full watershed
buffer zone that OU has asked be protected for 20 years," Kister said.  "I
encourage citizens to attend the Board of Trustees meeting located between
Cutler and Chubb Hall on the College Green," Kister said.

 OU Geography Professor Ted Bernard said, "Everyone who is paying
for tuition has a voice.  It hasn't been heard enough yet, but I believe
(students) will be called upon."

 Citizens are encouraged to contact: or Chris
Crews or Dan Foor at: 614-662-4029 to get on the contact list to save
Dysart Woods.