For Immediate Release

May 29, 2007

 Contact: Chad Kister: (740-707-4110 or or

 Against All Odds book released as OU plans more Ridges destruction

          While local author Chad Kister has been focusing on the Arctic with his first two books, his third book is based in his home town of Athens .  Against All Odds: The Struggle to Save The Ridges is an inspiring story about the successful effort to protect Radar Hill.  Still, OU officials plan development  on the south side of The Ridges that desperately needs to be stopped.

            The book shows that even when a cause seems hopeless, as did the effort to protect The Ridges in 1992, citizens can prevail through perseverance and creative, professional activism.  The narrative also shows the strong community and university support for protecting the 700-acre Ridges land.

            The Ridges is the only large area of green space within walking distance of the OU campus and uptown Athens .  The land provides critical inspiration to Athens and Ohio University writers, as do similar natural areas at wise universities around the world.

            But Alan Geiger, who is shown in the book to have used misleading testimony to acquire the Ridges land in the state legislature, and to have no regard for the natural virtues of the land or the people who are concerned about the land’s fate, is still in charge, and wanting to develop the Ridges.

            The development on the former Daines Property at Richland and Dairy Lane is currently planning on dumping 300,000 tons of soil onto the south portion of the Ridges land, to open it for development.  This is the area where bobcat’s were sighted in 2003, a state endangered species and the mascot of OU.

            Furthermore, OU purchased more than 15,000 native trees that Kister coordinated the planting of all throughout the south Ridges area.

            “This disastrous development plan must be stopped,” Kister said.  “OU is required to have a Ridges Advisory Committee to advise them on uses of The Ridges.  This committee has not met since 1991, and these are totally new plans.”

            Additionally, the plans violate the recommendation of the OU Ecology Committee which met more than 20 times and came up with a land use plan in 1996 calling for the preservation of the entire land.

            “OU has already held hearings into the land use of the Ridges, and the administrators, faculty and students involved resoundingly called for protecting the entire area,” Kister said.  “If OU does not listen to the committees appointed to make recommendations on key issues, it is acting as a dictatorship rather than a democracy, violating the very tenants that our country was founded upon.”

            The Against All Odds book shows how students and community members used the tenets of democracy to convince OU to have public hearings to protect the land.  More than 4,000 people signed a petition requesting that the area be protected, Student Senate passed 4 resolutions, Graduate Student passed a resolution and Faculty Senate passed a resolution calling for the protecting of The Ridges.