In 2010, Benton Soil & Water Conservation District (SWCD) recognized the need to develop a county-wide, cross-jurisdictional plan on invasive species management that addresses the protection of quality conservation areas in the County, provides for native fish and wildlife species, and contributes to an informed public aware of the threat invasive species pose to our economy and environment. In 2011, Benton SWCD initiated this planning process with a group of land and invasive species managers working in Benton County.
In total, 79 individuals from 27 organizations were involved in the process, with about 25 participants attending each of the three initial planning meetings. The objective of these meetings was to collectively and collaboratively address invasive species issues – and most importantly, develop a county-wide plan aimed at early detection and rapid response (EDRR) as well as outreach and education. The group achieved consensus in moving forward as a Cooperative Weed Management Area (CWMA) facilitated by Benton SWCD with four active sub-committees. CWMAs are local organizations that function under the authority of a Memorandum of Understanding to coordinate weed management activities.
Our sub-committees include:
- organizational structure,
- Landscape Level Strategy, and
- Education & Outreach.
Michael Ahr of Benton SWCD serves as the coordinator. Read the CWMA strategic action plan and its appendices created by our stellar planning process facilitator, Lisa DeBruyckere of Creative Resource Strategies.
To coordinate community-based efforts against those invasive species that have the potential to cause ecological and economic harm in Benton County.
Are you interested in being involved with Benton County CWMA? When you sign up as a Member or Friend of BC CWMA, you will be added to the CWMA mailing list, be able to participate on action teams, attend CWMA meetings, and gain access to the CWMA documents page.