Special Announcement from SWIM Executives & Team Members
Due to the current COVID-19 situation, SWIM has decided to reschedule our planned April 2020 conference to next year – April 2021. We will update this page with any SWIM activities we are able to schedule through the remainder of the 2020 season as physical distancing allows! Take care, everyone, and stay healthy!

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:

  1. April 23, 2015 – Invasive Plant Prevention – Heritage Inn, Pincher Creek, Alberta
  • Offer education regarding prevention strategies aimed at reducing the spread of invasive species.
  • Gain an understanding of the challenges faced by area land managers regarding invasive species.
  • Develop common and collaborative prevention strategies.
  1. April 15, 2016 – Early Detection & Rapid Response – EDRR – Heritage Inn, Pincher Creek Alberta
  • Promote awareness of EDRR strategies aimed at preventing the establishment of new invasive species.
  • EDRR successes and challenges in SW Alberta – stories from the field.
  • What does EDRR mean within SW Alberta? Can a simplified, shared EDRR protocol be developed?
  1. April 20, 2017 – Integrated Control Strategies – Heritage Inn, Pincher Creek, Alberta
  • How are we currently managing invasives (pesticides, grazing, fire, biocontrol, smothering, cultural, and so on)?
  • Are these strategies successful? Why or why not? What is the end goal of control? What does success look like?
  • Can shared, inter-jurisdictional cooperative strategies be developed and implemented?
  1. April 19, 2018 – Monitoring, Evaluation, & Reclamation – Heritage Inn, Pincher Creek, Alberta
  • After invasives are controlled, how should we be monitoring & evaluating success (or lack of success)?
  • What species should we strive to replace invasives with – current technical knowledge & experiences?
  • What reclamation techniques work well (and not so well) in SW Alberta – shared experience?

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!



blood tribe







Willow Creek








Photos from the partners in South West Invasive Managers