Why Form a CWMA?
CWMAs allow partners to cross boundaries; invasive plant management can be carried out along ecological, rather than political, boundaries. They allow partners to share and leverage limited resources (volunteers, tools, herbicides, mailing and printing costs, media contacts, etc.) to the benefit of all. They are highly visible, building community awareness and participation as well as focusing attention and presenting a united effort to state and federal legislators. They can also reduce the risk of control efforts to water, crops, threatened and endangered (T&E) species, and other resources by assuring that all partners are using best management practices. CWMAs can provide an early detection and rapid response network by ensuring that all the partners are aware of and are able to identify new invaders and have a response mechanism. Finally, CWMAs help partners secure funding. (This paragraph is an excerpt from the Midwest Invasive Plant Network CWMA Cookbook.)
In the case of NIIPP, we receive considerable support from USDA Forest Service at Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie and the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. They have made our regional education and outreach programs possible - these products of these programs in turn benefit many of our other partners. As a result, our partners have made significant strides in preventing plant invasions and protecting native plant biodiversity on a scale that no individual organization could achieve alone.