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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. 

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
  • 60 public invasive species education events
  • 400 private landowner invasive plant assessments
  • One-on-one technical assistance to 600 small landowners
  • Provide 20 professional trainings for Conservation Partnership staff




  • The agreement is for 5 years. 
  • NRCS will provide $917,400, with SICIM raising an equal amount of matching funds through grants, donations, and other contributions. 
  • Plans are to work with SWCDs and other conservation organizations in forming local 1-2 county CISMAs, and help them find the resources they need to manage invasives in their areas
  • 4 regional specialists are being hired around the state to help with this
  • The project also aims to provide free technical assistance to landowners, including invasive species property surveys and management plans


Interested in learning more or working with SICIM in your area?  Contact one the project coordinator or one of our regional specialists.  (Note: at this time we only have 2 regional specialists on staff, but plans are to eventually hire the remaining 2 specialists for northern Indiana.)

project coordinator - Dawn Slack

Dawn Slack works for The Nature Conservancy in Indiana, but will also be coordinating 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 work with SICIM on this project email us at

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 the various regions of the state, so check back soon!