South West Invasive Managers (SWIM) – Alberta: About Us – February 2020
The purpose of the 2014 formation of SWIM was to gather accumulated knowledge and experience of invasive species managers from the southwest corner of Alberta, to discuss existing and emerging shared invasive prevention & management issues, and begin to develop regional strategies. The area of focus includes the mountains, foothills, and fescue grasslands in southwest Alberta, in communication with eastern British Columbia/northern Montana partners.
After initial meetings in late 2014, it was decided engagement was needed with Southwest Alberta land managers in industry, government, and non-government organizations (NGO’s) with responsibilities that included invasive species prevention & management. The Alberta Invasive Species Council (AISC) assisted the group with initial financial logistics and administrative support. Annual April workshops targeting these managers with a four-year topic cycle were held:
In November 2018, SWIM merged with the South West Alberta Cooperative Weed Management Area (SWACWMA), retaining the SWIM acronym for the merged group. After the four highly successful spring workshops (2015-18) the SWIM Team was encouraged by workshop participants to continue with more initiatives in 2019 and beyond.
The first SWIM Field Tour was held on July 11th, 2019, which was well attended and received. The tour tried to hit on all aspects of the four previous SWIM workshops in a field setting. Also in 2019, SWIM was very pleased to sign an MOU with the Waterton Biosphere Reserve Association (WBRA) to assist the group with financial and communication services. Ongoing SWIM initiatives being worked on include invasive species data sharing, weed-free forage & gravel certification, native seed harvesting, and cooperative weed control events between SWIM partners.
SWIM Executive & Team Members:
Robert Sissons Chair Waterton Park
Rick Niwa Vice Chair MD Ranchland
Megan Evans Acting Secretary Alberta Invasive Species Council
Wonnita Andrus Treasurer Alberta Environment & Parks
Kelly Cooley ‘Rover’ CoolPro Solutions, SAWC Partnership; NAISMA
Roderick Watt Co-op Weed Control Lead Waterton Park
Carla Preachuk / Gary Murray Workshop Lead MD Willow Creek
Rod Foggin / Stephen Bevans Cardston County
Jody Best Alberta Environment & Parks
Jaret Panther Bone Env. Protection, Blood Tribe Lands
Shane Poulsen MD Pincher Creek
Tony McCue Nature Conservancy Canada
Bill Hnatiuk Municipality of Crowsnest Pass
Nora Manners Waterton Biosphere Reserve Association
SWIM encourages consistent, effective strategies to cooperatively prevent & manage invasives in Southwest Alberta!
SWAT Team (Southern Weed Attack Technicians). The weed team for Alberta Parks South Region.
Coordinating the weed program for the Alberta Parks South Region. This guy means business !
Utilizing the Bobcat boom sprayer to control a large patch of Creeping Thistle, St. Mary's Reservoir Provincial Recreation Area.
Volunteers help to collect native plant seed that will be used in restoring damaged habitat
Spot application of herbicide along the roads and the Kootenay Brown Trail
Larinus minutus - a weevil released to help reduce seed production of spotted knapweed
Weeds know no boundaries. South West Alberta Cooperative Weed Management Area Workshop Waterton Park, September 2009. Friends from the U.S.A. help SWACWMA plan their cooperative weed management area.
Weed control continues rain or shine - crews from all the partner staff pulling Spotted Knapweed - August 2009
SWACWMA crew tackling several invasive weeds on the Belly River - July 2010
Founders of SWACWMA - Feb 6, 2009 at the (old) MD of PC Admin Building - Council Chambers