Rich Sobolewski Editor

CHATTANOOGA (WRCB) - In the war against "The Vine that Ate the South", there is a new battle plan.

The US Forest Service has released a new 120-page guide to combating kudzu and other invasive plant species that are destroying southern forests.

"The guide provides the latest information on how to create and carry out prevention programs, implement management practices, and rehabilitate and restore land," said  Dr. Jim Miller, ecologist based at the USDA Southern Research Station in Auburn, Alabama.

Without the insects and diseases that keep the plants in check, invasive plants force out native species, impacting the land and local wildlife.

"Unfortunately, invasions of nonnative plants into our forests continue to worsen, and mostly these are unseen to most citizens, because you have to be in the forests, although you see them along the edges," explains Dr. Miller.

Among the recommendations for kudzu, the Forest Service suggests mowing the vines to the ground and covering the area in plastic for two year, or using goats to eat the vines.

"A Management Guide for Invasive Plants in Southern Forests" is available for free from the USDA website or by calling 828-257-4830.