THURMOND, W.Va. (AP) — After unsuccessful attempts with chemical and mechanical weed treatments at New River Gorge, the National Park Service has decided to try its luck with an all-natural solution: goats.
The Gazette-Mail reports New River Gorge National River says in a news release that 24 goats began a monthlong intensive grazing period Friday in the Thurmond area of West Virginia. Officials hope the animals are able to kill fast-growing, invasive weed species that include kudzu and Japanese knotweed.
The release says goats continually eat plants, which will stress and weaken them until they eventually die. Plans call for the goats to return to the area over the next two years so Park Service biologists can gauge their effectiveness. Official say the grazed areas will be replanted with native grass and wildflower species.