Friday, November 09, 2001

Old-growth forest may be mined

By Liz Sidoti
The Associated Press

        COLUMBUS — A coal company said Thursday it intends to mine beneath a 400-year-old eastern Ohio forest that contains a large tract of old-growth timber, but won't use a technique that will cause the land to subside.

        The Ohio Valley Coal Co. filed with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources for a permit to mine under about 30 acres of the 455-acre Dysart Woods.

        The company, based in Alledonia, has spent years battling environmentalists over the implications of mining beneath the forest. About 55 acres of the entire forest contains old-growth trees, essentially untouched for centuries.

        Jim Lynch, spokesman for ODNR, said the company's application will be heavily scrutinized.

        “It will be quite some time before we'll have a determination on whether to allow this,” he said, noting the forest is an environmentally sensitive area.


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