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Invasives Initiative

Indiana Invasives Initiative

In late 2017, Southern Indiana Cooperative Invasives Management (SICIM) and the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) entered into a contribution agreement for the purpose of developing local Cooperative Invasive Species Management Areas (CISMAs) throughout Indiana. Both SICIM and the NRCS have been working for many years to combat invasive plants and raise public awareness of the devastation being caused by these non-native pests, and both have come to the realization that we will not begin to make much headway until the problem is addressed at the local level by local people using local resources.

 Invasive Chinese Silvergrass ( Miscanthus sinensis ), photo taken by Emily Finch, Orange County Indiana. 

Invasive Chinese Silvergrass (Miscanthus sinensis), photo taken by Emily Finch, Orange County Indiana. 

 Click on the image above to view a pdf of our CISMA brochure! 

Click on the image above to view a pdf of our CISMA brochure! 

What is a CISMA?

A CISMA is a Cooperative Invasive Species Management Area, also sometimes called a CWMA or Cooperative Weed Management Area.  CISMAs/CWMAs are partnership organizations formed with the goal of managing invasive plants across jurisdictional and landownership boundaries.  Partners can include county, state, and federal governmental agencies, non-profits, citizen groups, and others.  By working together at the local level, CWMA/CISMA partners are able to pool resources and knowledge to address mutual invasive species problems.  Through this project SICIM will be providing new CISMA resources and guidance.  In the meantime, for more information on CISMAs go to  









what will this project deliver?

Project highlights

  • An organizational template and resources to help new CISMAs
  • Public invasive species education events
  • Private landowner invasive plant assessments
  • One-on-one technical assistance to small landowners
  • Professional trainings for Conservation Partnership staff




  • The agreement is for 5 years. 
  • The project is supported by NRCS, SICIM, and various other grants, donations, and contributions 
  • Plans are to work with SWCDs and other conservation organizations to increase CISMA representation across the state, and help them find the resources they need to manage invasives in their areas
  • Regional specialists will work around the state to help with this
  • The project also aims to provide technical assistance to landowners, including invasive species property surveys and management plans


project coordinator - Dawn Slack

Dawn Slack works for The Nature Conservancy in Indiana, but also coordinates SICIM's Indiana Invasives Initiative.  If you do not see a regional specialist listed for your area, or have general questions about the Initiative, you can contact her at 


REgional specialist - Emily finch

Serving Southern Indiana








REgional Specialist - Amber Slaughterbeck

Serving West Central Indiana


Honey Creek West

3241 S 3rd Place

Terre Haute, IN 47802



For more information...

For more information, or to support with SICIM with this project, you can also email the SICIM Secretary at

New CISMA Meetings!

As part of the Indiana Invasive Initiative, the regional specialists can work with interested counties to hold community Call-Out meetings.  These meetings can provide an overview of local invasive problems and cover the basics of what a CISMA is and potential CISMA projects. 

The goal is to gather input from the community on the following:

  1. What is currently being done to manage local invasive species. 
  2. How could a new CISMA help and what should their priorities be. 
  3. And finally, who is willing and able to help the new CISMA.  


Upcoming CISMA Call-Out Meetings:

  • May 14th: Warrick County
    • 1:00pm central in the County Commissioners meeting room in the Old Courthouse building (107 West Locust St Suite 301, Boonville, IN).  To RSVP or for details contact the SWCD at 812-897-2840 x3.
  • May 17th: Orange County
    • 5:30pm at the Lost River Market & Deli.  To register, call 812-203-3033 or sign-up online at
  • May 23rd: Gibson County
    • 4:30pm central at the Gibson Co SWCD office (229 S 2nd Ave Princeton, IN). To RSVP call 812-385-5033 x3.
  • May 30th: Posey County
    • 6:00 pm central at the Posey Co SWCD office (1805 Main St Mt. Vernon, IN). To RSVP call 812-838-4191.
  • June 12th: Pike County
    • 5:30 pm easter at the Pike Co USDA Service Center (2101 E Main Street Petersburg, IN). Pizza & other refreshments provided, RSVP by June 11th by calling the Pike Co SWCD office at 812-354-6120.
  • June 13th: Vanderburgh County
    • 5:00 pm central at the Vanderburgh Co SWCD office (921 North Park Dr Evansville, IN 47710). to RSVP call 812-423-4426 x3. 

If you are interested in having a CISMA call-out meeting in your area, or just a presentation on what a CISMA is and what it can do for your area, please contact one of our regional specialists or project coordinator listed above.  

check back soon!

As we hire more regional specialists and start working on project goals we will use this space to share upcoming events, trainings, and contact information for other regions of the state, so check back soon!