Developing a CWMA/CISMA

A Cooperative Weed Management Area (CWMA) is a partnership of federal, state, and local government agencies, tribes, individuals, and various interested groups that manage invasive species (or weeds) within a defined area. In different parts of the country, CWMAs are known by other names, including: Cooperative Invasive Species Management Area (CISMA), Partnership for Regional Invasive Species Management (PRISM), Weed Management Area (WMA), Invasive Species Teams, and Invasive Species Partnerships. Although these groups may be organized differently, they share six basic characteristics:

  • CWMAs operate within a defined geographic area, distinguished by a common geography, weed problem, community, climate, political boundary, or land use.
  • CWMAs involve a broad cross-section of landowners and natural resource managers within its defined boundaries.
  • CWMAs are governed by a Steering Committee.
  • CWMAs make a long-term commitment to cooperation, usually through a formal agreement among partners.
  • CWMAs have a comprehensive plan that addresses the management or prevention of invasive species within its boundaries.
  • CWMAs facilitate cooperation and coordination across jurisdictional boundaries.

CWMAs bring together local citizens, landowners, nonprofit organizations, industry, and city, county, state, tribal, and federal representatives to work towards a common goal—effective control of invasive species.

CWMA Cookbook: A Recipe for Success. 2011. Midwest Invasive Plant Network.

CWMA/CISMA Resources

How-to Guides

CISMA/CWMA Website Cookbook

A step-by-step guide on how to develop a Cooperative Invasive Species Management Area website.

CWMA Cookbook, Western US

This comprehensive guide to CWMAs in the western US covers all the bases, from establishing geographic boundaries to holding public meetings to developing a strategic management plan.

CWMA Cookbook, Eastern US

Updated in 2011, this guide to CWMAs in the eastern US covers all the bases, from establishing geographic boundaries to holding public meetings to developing a strategic management plan.

Cooperative Weed Management Areas

This brochure outlines the steps in organizing, developing, and operating a successful CWMA.

Guidelines for Coordinated Management of Noxious Weeds: Development of Weed Management Areas

This guide includes: sample contracts and agreements; information about planning, mapping, and monitoring; tips for weed awareness and outreach activities; and much more. It was developed by the Bureau of Land Management, USDA Forest Service, National Park Service, and state and county land managers in the Greater Yellowstone Area in 1997 and updated in 2002.

Sample Memorandum of Understanding

A sample Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for establishing a CWMA.


Pulling Together Initiative

This grants program from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation has a strong history of funding CWMAs nationally.

State Wildlife Action Plans

Each state has a State Wildlife Action Plan; most include a section on invasive species.

Montana Noxious Weed Trust Fund

Established in 1985 by the Montana Legislature, this grant program provides funding for the development of weed management programs, research and development of innovative weed management techniques, and supports educational and other research projects that benefit Montana citizens.

CWMAs by State

View map of CWMAs and CISMAs
California WMAs
Florida CISMAs and CWMAs
Idaho CWMAs
New Mexico CWMAs
Oregon CWMAs
Utah CWMAs
Wyoming WMAs

Ideas for CWMAS/CISMAs

  • Sponsor Realtor education classes
  • Invite state legislators and local media on a tour of the CWMA (or an infested area)
  • Place eye-catching ads in newspapers
  • Host hands-on displays at gardening shows
  • Recruit retirees to serve as weed awareness volunteers at campsites and in state parks
  • Exchange a trash bag of weeds for coupons or cash from sponsoring local businesses
  • Insert information on weeds into hunting and fishing guides
  • Distribute colorful weed calendars and weed identification guides
  • Come up with a great slogan.

Advice and Inspiration

Midwest Invasive Plant Network
Western Weed Awareness Summit

Awareness Campaigns

Idaho Weed Awareness Campaign
Montana Noxious Weed Education Campaign
Stop Aquatic Hitchhikers
Texas Invasives