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Affiliated Counties or Partnership
Benton County 

Heath Keirstead, CWMA Coordinator
456 SW Monroe Ave Suite 110, Corvallis, OR 97333
Phone: 541-753-7208
Email: hkeirstead@bentonswcd.org

In 2010, Benton Soil & Water Conservation District recognized the need to develop a county-wide, cross-jurisdictional plan on invasive species management that addresses the protection of quality conservation areas in the County, provides for native fish and wildlife species, and contributes to an informed public aware of the threat invasive species pose to our economy and environment. In 2011, the District initiated this planning process with a group of land and invasive species managers working in Benton County.
In total, 79 individuals from 27 organizations were involved in the process, with about 25 participants attending each of the three initial planning meetings. The objective of these meetings was to collectively and collaboratively address invasive species issues - and most importantly, develop a county-wide plan aimed at early detection and rapid response (EDRR) as well as outreach and education. The group achieved consensus in moving forward as a Cooperative Weed Management Area (CWMA) with four active sub-committees. CWMAs are local organizations that function under the authority of a Memorandum of Understanding to coordinate weed management activities. Our sub-committees include: 1) organizational structure, 2) EDRR, 3) Landscape Level Strategy, and 4) Education & Outreach. Read the CWMA strategic action plan and its appendices created by our stellar planning process facilitator, Lisa DeBruyckere of the Oregon Invasive Species Council.

List the Cooperators involved in your CWMA.
Current CWMA participants include: Institute for Applied Ecology; OSU College Forests; Calapooia Watershed Council; Oregon Department of Forestry; Marys River Watershed Council; Benton County Public Works; Benton County Public Works; Alsea Watershed Council; Benton County Natural Areas and Parks; US Fish & Wildlife Service; Greenbelt Land Trust; Cascade Pacific RC&D; Oregon Department of Transportation; Western Invasives Network; Luckiamute Watershed Council; Benton SWCD; Natural Resources Conservation Service; City of Philomath; Benton County Farm Bureau; Benton County Small Woodlands Association
What is the highest priority species in your area?
Japanese Knotweed
Describe your most valuable outreach/education tool.
Neighborhood Weed Workshops
Weed Talks

What would you say is your CWMA's largest obstacle in the way of achieving your mission?
Lack of long term funding.