Eastern Cherokees oppose expansion of airport
The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians is "totally opposed" to the expansion of the Macon County Airport in North Carolina, Principal Chief Michell Hicks told The Asheville Citizen-Times.

The tribe says the county isn't doing enough to protect artifacts at the airport. An archaeological firm found 1,500 postholes of ancient structures, 200 archaeological features and 48 possible burials.

“This is perhaps the most significant Native American site that will be found in the region in our lifetimes,” said archaeologist Michael Trinkley. “There are very few sites of this size and magnitude. There are very few sites that are left that haven't been impacted by roads, cultivation and housing developments.”

The Macon County Airport Authority approved plans to spend up to $535,000 to remove the artifacts from a runway expansion. But only 25 percent would be removed.

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Tribe, archaeologist oppose runway expansion (The Asheville Citizen-Times 2/17)