Stimulus money funds exotic plant eradication

A team of a dozen people will spend the next three years scouring the Cheoah River corridor in Graham County annihilating invasive plant species that are threatening the forest ecosystem.

The work will cost $366,000 and is being funded with federal stimulus money. It has created 12 jobs — 10 jobs were awarded to Cherokee tribal members in the depressed Snowbird area and two were created through the environmental organization WNC Alliance, which has been a leader in tackling invasive plants over the past decade.

“The WNC Alliance is excited to be a part of this win, win, win project employing Eastern Band of Cherokee Indian members, protecting federally listed species, and restoring native habitat,” said Bob Gale, ecologist for the Western N.C. Alliance.

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