Cooperative Weed Management Areas (CWMAs) and Cooperative Invasive Species Management Areas (CISMAs) are variations on a common theme of locally-led collaborations that support healthy ecosystems and the communities they encompass.

A CWMA/CISMA is a community-based partnership of federal, state, and local government agencies, private landowners, natural resource managers, non-governmental organizations, and others who agree to cooperatively manage invasive species in a defined area.

Five characteristics of a CWMA/CISMA:

  • Defined geographical area distinguished by a common geography, invasive species problem, community, climate, political boundary, or land use.
  • Involvement or representation of the majority of landowners and natural resource managers in the defined area.
  • Steering committee.
  • Commitment to cooperation.
  • Comprehensive plan that addresses the management or prevention of one or more weeds or invasive species.

CWMAs/CISMAs often function under the authority of a mutually developed Memorandum of Understanding or Cooperative Agreement and are governed by a steering committee.

Together CWMA/CISMA partners develop a comprehensive invasive species management plan for their area. Management plans usually include mapping and monitoring components as well as integrated and adaptive approaches to management. Comprehensive plans may include volunteer training and outreach activities, early detection of and rapid response to new invaders, and natural resource restoration.

Locally-driven CWMAs/CISMAs generate public interest in invasive species management and build crucial grassroots support for statewide invasive species management programming.



NISAW - Strengthening Grassroots Partnerships
CWMA Cookbook: Eastern U.S.
CWMA Cookbook: Western U.S.
CWMA/CISMA Website Cookbook
CWMA/CISMA Website Template
Sample Memorandum of Understanding (MOU)


National Map

Submit your CWMA/CISMA