Agreement to protect flower across Southeast - Atlanta News, Weather, Traffic, and Sports | FOX 5

Agreement to protect flower across Southeast

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Associated Press

ATLANTA (AP) - An agreement could help protect a threatened flower called the Georgia aster across the Southeast.

The deal brokered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will be formally signed next week by a utility company, highway officials, landowners and other government agencies.

Utility and highway work crews will avoid mowing sunny rights of way where the flower thrives from mid-May through mid-November. Those participating promise to not overuse herbicides, which can kill the plant.

Biologists say the purple flower lives in woodlands and prairies that offer bountiful sunlight. Naturally occurring wildfires once cleared land, making conditions ideal for the flower. But since humans now control wildfires, the flower can be found on mowed utility and highway land.

The aster has been a candidate for endangered species status.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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