Cooperatove Conservation Project

Midwest Invasive Plant Network

Joining forces to combat invasive plants in the Midwest

Location: Midwest/Northern High Plains Region: Illinois Indiana Iowa Michigan Minnesota Missouri Ohio Wisconsin

Project Summary: Addressing the threats of non-native invasive plants to the Midwest by providing leadership, facilitating information development and exchange, and coordinating regional efforts.
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Monitoring for invasive plants in Illinois.
Resource Challenge

Invasive plants pose one of the greatest threats to biodiversity, taking over natural areas and crowding out native species, yet awareness about and action to solve this problem have been slower in the Midwest than in other regions.  The Midwest Invasive Plant Network was started to bring more attention to the problem and pool resources and knowledge of those working to reduce the threats of invasive plants.  Our goal is to improve prevention, early detection and rapid response, control and management, education, and research on invasive plants in the Midwest .  By engaging a broad network of partners across the region, we are working together to raise awareness, provide information, and lead cooperative efforts.

Examples of Key Partners
The Nature Conservancy, U.S. Forest Service, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, Chicago Botanic Garden, Lake County (Illinois) Forest Preserve District, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Illinois Department of Natural Resources, Iowa Department of Natural Resources, and many other federal, state, local, and private partners
Results and Accomplishments
Accomplishments include the development of a listserv and website to improve communication about invasive plants and related issues in the Midwest, creation of a database of educational materials to improve access to information, development of a data standard for invasive plant mapping and inventory, and compilation of information on scientific research on invasive plants being conducted in the Midwest.  The Network is currently working on publishing regional educational materials on invasive plants, engaging in discussions with the horticultural industry to encourage voluntary reduction in the sale of invasive species, and developing training workshops on the creation of Cooperative Weed Management Areas.

This group has brought together government agencies, non-profit organizations, universities, industry, and land managers to tackle a pervasive problem at a regional level.

Project Contact
Katherine Howe
Midwest Invasive Plant Network Coordinator
The Nature Conservancy
1505 N. Delaware St., #200
Indianapolis, IN 46202


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