- Associated Press - Wednesday, May 27, 2015

CHIMNEY ROCK, N.C. (AP) - Maybe kudzu is not indestructible after all.

For nearly two weeks, about 15 goats at Chimney Rock State Park have been working to help get rid of the invasive plant and others that squeeze out native plants and contribute to erosion and landslides.

David Lee, Hickory Nut Gorge steward with Carolina Mountain Land Conservancy, helped arrange for the goats to tackle the invasive species near Chimney Rock. The park is using the goats to take care of a two-acre section.

Lee says the goats are much cheaper than hiring people to spray herbicides to control the unwanted weeds.

Also, the goats bring added benefits such as fertilizing the soil through manure and churning up the natural seed bank there.

“When we do sites like this, it’s just so surprising the following spring, the amount of herbaceous material that comes up - native material - because of that churning,” Lee said. “And that doesn’t usually happen when you use standard practices.”

The Times-News of Hendersonville reports (https://bit.ly/1LIH8fE) the goats will take about two weeks on each one-acre section and are expected to return in the fall to sweep the area again.

“I think it fits really well with our goals and the themes of the park,” said Shannon Quinn-Tucker, public relations and promotions manager at Chimney Rock State Park. She said those goals include conservancy and doing projects like this in the most natural way possible.


Information from: Times-News, https://www.blueridgenow.com

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