Introduction and Background

Cooperative Weed Management Areas (CWMAs) are partnership organizations formed with the goal of managing invasive plants across jurisdictional and landownership boundaries. Cooperative Invasive Species Management Areas (CISMAs) and Partnerships for Regional Invasive Species Management (PRISMs) are similar to CWMAs, but their goals may include the management of invasive animal species in addition to plants. The following are key characteristics of CWMAs/CISMAs/PRISMs:

  • Work within a defined geographic area
  • Participation from a broad cross-section of stakeholders and land owners
  • Decision making though a steering committee
  • Long-term commitment to cooperation, preferably formalized through a partnership agreement
  • Have a strategic plan for addressing species of concern
  • Coordinate across jurisdictional boundaries

CWMAs/CISMAs/PRISMs enable partners to pool resources to address invasive species problems held in common. Partnerships are more efficient and effective than piecemeal approaches. Due to these benefits, MIPN advocates for and offers technical support towards the establishment of CWMAs/CISMAs/PRISMs in the Midwest. Please explore some of our resources below.

See our Directory of Midwestern CISMAs here.  Last updated February 2024. If you have updated contact information, please contact the MIPN Coordinator.

See the Great Lakes Commission's interactive map of regional CISMAs here.

MIPN's Customizable Revegetation Guides

The only thing better than helping a landowner or partner organization get a handle on a nasty invasive plant problem is giving them tools to help revegetate or restore the site to be functional, beautiful, resilient, and less likely to be re-invaded. MIPN worked with USFS to survey CISMAs in 2020 and we learned about the type of outreach material that could help CISMAs encourage their partners to revegetate using native plants. We integrated this feedback into two short guides that we hope fit the bill!

Because MIPN is a regional organization, we had to keep the content general enough so it could be used from Southern Missouri to Northern Minnesota. As such, we did not include any species recommendations or any contact information for local assistance. We would love CISMAs and other local non-profit groups to customize the fliers to provide this type of local information. Interested? Just download the Powerpoint files below, customize using the in-built instructions, save as PDF and merge with MIPN's static PDF file to create a custom product. Need help merging files? Just contact us! And, of course, you are more than welcome to use the static guide as it comes without customization.

For homeowners, homeowners' associations, commercial sites, garden clubs, etc.:

Customizable File (PPT)
Static Content (PDF)

For woodland and conservation land owners, park managers, etc.:

Customizable File (PPT)
Static Content (PDF)

Develop a new CWMA with the CWMA Cookbook

The CWMA concept was initially developed in the Western U.S. In 2003, the Idaho Noxious Weed Coordinating Committee published a "cookbook," which provided a step-by-step guide explaining how to form a CWMA. MIPN adapted this work into a CWMA Cookbook for the Eastern U.S. If you are interested in forming a CWMA and would like training on the Cookbook, please contact us. A sample training presentation is provided below.

CWMA Cookbook for Eastern US (PDF - 2011)

CWMA Cookbook for Western US (PDF - 2003)

CWMA PowerPoint Slide Show (PowerPoint version, updated December 2010)

CWMA PowerPoint Slide Show (PDF version, faster download)


Establishing a CWMA Workshop Series Presentations:


CWMA Sample Documents

CWMA General Information & Tools:

Potential CWMA Funding Opportunities:

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Environmental Education Grants (Nationwide)

U.S. Department of Agriculture, Farm Bill Programs (Nationwide, can provide cost share to private landowners for invasive plant management and other conservation practices)

North Central Integrated Pest Management Center (Midwestern states only)

Sustain Our Great Lakes (administered by NFWF), Grant Program (Great Lakes Basin only)

U.S. Forest Service, Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (Great Lakes Basin only)

Indiana Department of Natural Resources (DNR), Lake and River Enhancement Program Grants (Indiana only, aquatic species only)

Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR), Resource Enhancement and Protection Conservation Education Program Grants (Iowa only, outreach and education acitivies only)

Iowa DRN, Wildlife Diversity Program Grants (Iowa only)

Michigan DNR, Invasive Species Grant Program (Michigan only)

Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources, CWMA Program (Minnesota only)

Minnesota DNR, Aquatic Invasive Species Grant Program (Minnesota only, aquatic species only)

Wisconsin DNR, Weed Management Area Private Forest Grant Program (Wisconsin only, forest species only, private land only)

Wisconsin DNR, Lake and Aquatic Invasives Grants (Wisconsin only, aquatic species only)

Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin, C.D. Besadny Conservation Grants (Wisconsin only)

Gaylord & Dorothy Donnelley Foundation, Land Conservation Grants (Northeastern Illinois only)