Monday, March 05, 2012

The River to River Cooperative Weed Management Area (CWMA) is a partnership between 12 federal and state agencies, organizations, and universities aimed at coordinating efforts and programs for addressing the threat of invasive plants in Southern Illinois. The CWMA was formally established in 2006 (view our MOU) and addresses both terrestrial and aquatic invasive plant species through collaborative projects and activities focused in the following areas:

  •  Education / Public Awareness
  •  Early Detection and Rapid Response
  •  Prevention
  •  Control and Management
  •  Research
The CWMA is grant funded and projects-based. Our goal is to cooperatively address the short and long-term effects of non-native invasive plants across jurisdictional boundaries within the 11 southern counties of Illinois.
The Nature Conservancy, in partnership with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, and the USDA
Forest Service Northeast Area State and Private Forestry Program developed the Southern Illinois Invasive
Species Strike Team (ISST) to control exotic plants in state parks, state nature preserves and adjacent private lands that serve as pathways onto these properties. This Strike Team is modeled after the very successful National Park Service Exotic Plant Management Team Program, and deploys a trained, mobile force of two plant management specialists who assist parks and preserves in controlling invasive, exotic plants.

This program focuses on detection and removal of invasive plant species and populations which pose the greatest threat to the ecological integrity of the natural areas in the southern Illinois region. The Southern Illinois ISST has primary responsibility for species identification, containment, eradication, and monitoring. The Nature Conservancy works with Illinois Department of Natural Resources biologists and the River to River Cooperative Weed Management Area Coordinator to determine priorities for the Strike Team.

The ISST annual report can be found here.


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