The Steering Committee is the decision making body for SuAsCo CISMA and votes on all CISMA activities.
1. The Steering Committee is comprised of a chairperson, vice-chairperson, secretary, and general Steering Committee representatives. The Steering Committee elect its own chairperson, vice-chairperson, and secretary. Intervals of such appointments shall be at the discretion of the Steering Committee.
2. The Steering Committee consists of ten to twelve representatives of Principal Partner organizations including at most one member from each Principal Partner organization. The CISMA consists of more than twelve Principal Partners, therefore, Steering Committee members are elected by the entire membership for three year terms. Each Principal Partner and Supporting Partner will have one vote in Steering Committee elections. The Steering Committee can appoint up to three additional Steering Committee members from the Supporting Partners.
3. Steering Committee composition should include at least two representatives from each of the following stakeholder groups: federal agency, state agency, private non-profit, and municipality.
4. The Steering Committee will meet at least four times each year. One-half (1/2) of Steering Committee members constitutes a quorum.
5. The Steering Committee will strive to operate by consensus with a commitment to cooperation across jurisdictional boundaries. When a vote on resolutions or other items becomes necessary, a 2/3 majority vote of those Steering Committee members present shall be required for passage. Votes can be taken at Steering Committee or general membership meetings, by conference call or by email.
Steering Committee Responsibilities
The Steering Committee shall:
1. Convene at least quarterly Steering Committee meetings and at least twice-annual general membership meetings at the call of the Chairperson.
2. Develop an Invasive Species Management Plan (ISMP) to establish strategic goals and objectives at the watershed scale and update the Plan periodically.
3. Based on the ISMP, develop, prioritize, and endorse cooperative invasive plant projects to be completed; and develop public relations, education, and training initiatives. Such projects shall be documented in a list of Annual Priority Actions (APAs). The APAs shall generally be drafted by March 1st of each year.
4. Encourage cooperative relationships and active participation among and between land owners and managers; federal, state, and local agencies; private landowners; and other interested entities to accomplish goals and objectives of the ISMP and APAs.
5. Share pertinent information, and keep communication open and frequent so all representatives are kept informed of issues that may affect working relationships. This includes the distribution of Steering Committee meeting minutes to the entire membership and sharing information on relevant efforts and accomplishments.
6. Maintain records of accomplishments and provide the Signatories of this Agreement an annual written report of project accomplishments by the end of each calendar year.
7. Actively seek cooperators, volunteers and alternate funding sources necessary to the management and success of the SUASCO CISMA.
8. Review and update Exhibits to this MOU.
9. Further define specific Steering Committee responsibilities in the approved ISMP and APAs, as appropriate.
10. Undertake such other activities as determined by the Steering Committee to be in the best interests of all of the Signatories and consistent with the purposes of this Agreement.
Steering Committee Membership
The SuAsCo CISMA Steering Committee is the governing body composed of 12 members. Each member is elected by the entire CISMA membership for a period of three years. The three year terms are staggered to ensure an even rotation.
Bolton Conservation Department: Rebecca Longvall, Chair, 2022
Framingham Conservation Department: Rob McArthur, 2022
Lincoln Conservation Department: Stacy Carter, 2022
Mass Audubon: Renata Pomponi, 2024
National Park Service: Emma Lord, Secretary, 2024
Native Plant Trust: Bud Sechler, 2024
Southborough Open Land Foundation: Whit Beals, 2022
Sudbury Valley Trustees: Laura Mattei, 2023
Town of Concord Natural Resources Department: Colleen Puzas, 2023
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service: Stephanie Koch, 2023
Wayland Conservation Department: Linda Hansen, 2024
Westford Conservation Trust: Gerry DiBello, Vice-Chair, 2023
Early Detection and Control Subcommittee
The EDC Subcommittee focuses on identification, methodology, policies and procedures to control early detection invasive species to share information within CISMA.
- Gather information on potential new invasive species and pathways of their introduction and spread.
- Identify and work with target communities and user groups to reduce likelihood of new invasions.
- Design a “Keep Clean Areas Clean” program through the promotion of educational resources regarding prevention of new invasive species within the watershed.
- Provide information to interested parties on identification of Early Detection species.
- Recruit a trained cadre of professional and volunteer naturalists able to identify potential new invaders.
- Create a network and a mechanism for contacting and mobilizing professional and volunteer efforts to eradicate new infestations as they occur.
- Map and monitor new infestations using CISMA standards to ensure invasive species has been eradicated.
- Establish relationships with and learn from other organizations involved in Early Detection/Rapid Response efforts outside of watershed.
- Plan, support, commit available resources to treatment of invasive species in high priority sites and treatment of high priority species as adopted by CISMA.
- Encourage and support mapping of existing infestations within the watershed using CISMA standards where feasible.
- Encourage and support monitoring of treated areas over time using standards developed by CISMA.
- Develop and maintain a system for information sharing (possible tools include a website, list-serve, web-mapping and on-line database.
- Solicit and share available information on areas inventoried and mapped for invasive species within the watershed.
- Solicit and share methodology for invasive control, management projects, mapping and monitoring standards.
- Solicit and share results of management practices, current research and control projects.
- As feasible and mutually desirable, share available resources such as equipment, volunteer resources and information on licensed pesticide applicators.
Education and Outreach Subcommittee
The Education and Outreach Subcommittee designs and implements educational materials, lectures, etc, to share information with CISMA membership and the public. It manages the SuAsCo CISMA website.
- Raise awareness of the impacts of invasive species in the local community by providing general information about invasive species and how they affect the watershed.
- Build knowledge of invasive species identification and control through presentations aimed at adults and school children and innovative educational materials.
- Provide printed publications and a focused list of online resources on invasive species identification and control promoting best practices for homeowners.
- Raise awareness of invasive species treatment techniques and effectiveness through hands on invasive species education programs at demonstration sites within the watershed.
- Promote invasive species control to private landowners by offering backyard identification and management advice.
- Develop a web site for SuAsCo CISMA.
Aquatic Invasive Management Subcommittee
Oversees the implementation of the Water Chestnut Management Action Plan.
- Oversee implementation of the Water Chestnut Management Action Plan.
- Coordinate management efforts undertaken taken on by various stakeholders in the watershed.
- Update the watershed-wide information (see water chestnut survey).
- Encourage monitoring and logistical support from towns.
- Share updates on control techniques, research, and funding sources.
- Collaborate on outreach and education materials and efforts.
- Review and revise the Management Plan to adapt its methods and recommendations to changes in field conditions, including the effects of ongoing management, and any new research or management options.
- Draft applications for funding for regional planning and implementation.
Legislative and Policy Subcommittee
LAPs will work towards improving legislation and policy to better assist landowners/managers control invasive species on their properties.
- Improve local permitting through developing general permits for aquatic and terrestrial invasives control.
- Investigate potential for limited herbicide applicator license to ease the burden of invasives control for everyone.
- Continue to support draft legislation filed by Senator Jehlen for state-level invasive species control.