The Ohio Division of Mineral Resources scheduled a meeting May 15 at 2 p.m. at the Belmont Technical College Red Room for Ohio Valley Coal Company’s Permit D-0360-13 (-13 for short) which would allow access from the -7 permit area to the -12 permit area, which includes all of Dysart Woods including the old growth forest.

If granted, Ohio Valley Coal Company could argue that the state must issue the -12 permit to mine under Dysart Woods since it permitted the -13 entrance main to the -12 permit. Further, the permit includes more than 20 acres of mining in the watershed buffer zone of Dysart Woods, which the Lands Unsuitable Petition appeal requests to be made off limits to mining.

Dysart Woods is among the most endangered ecosystem in the world according to a 1996 U.S. Department of Interior report. A map of the proposed mining permit, and the already approved and appealed -9 permit is at

Meanwhile, the Ohio Division of Mineral Resources has yet to deem the -12 permit complete, which would undermine all of Dysart Woods, including all of the old growth forest areas with longwall and room and pillar mining.

Comments can be sent to the Ohio Division of Mineral Resources; 1855 Fountain Square Court; Building H; Columbus, OH 43224.

"Ohio Valley Coal Company wants to mine all of Dysart Woods and all of its watershed," said Dysart Defenders Coordinator Chad Kister. "Citizens need to speak up now and take time off work or school to come to this hearing. The ODMR has made it hard for citizens to attend the hearing in the middle of a weekday. Please come regardless."

Past hearings on Dysart Woods permits have been in the evening. Scott Stiteler, permit manager for the -9 permit, said that the ODMR does not pay overtime as the reason for the hearing being in the middle of the work day. He also noted that second and third shifts, as would be found in a coal mine, could attend the hearing.

Furthermore, the hearing was scheduled with improper notice. At least two months should be given for a hearing, when just a little over three weeks was given for this hearing.