Mid-Michigan Stewardship Initiative: Developing a Cooperative Invasive Species Management Area (CISMA) for the Counties Surrounding Lansing

Jim Hewitt
Mid-Michigan Stewardship Initiative
Jim Hewitt is the Coordinator with Mid-Michigan Stewardship Network, a Cluster of The Stewardship Network where he works mainly on invasive species issues but also on interpretive nature programs and outings. He also volunteers with other environmental organizations based in the Greater Lansing area such as Michigan Audubon. He has served on the boards of Capital Area Audubon, Red Cedar Chapter of Wild Ones, and is currently an officer on the board of the Michigan Botanical Club.
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Dr. Leslie Kuhn is Field Projects Coordinator and Co-founder of the Mid-Michigan Stewardship Initiative. Successes include partnering with MDNR, Ingham County Parks, Meridian Township and private landowners to acquire and protect 120 acres of woods and wetlands in the Lake Lansing area. Dr. Kuhn received her Ph.D. in Biophysics from the University of Pennsylvania, followed by a postdoctoral fellowship in structural biology and molecular design at The Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, CA. As a professor of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology and Computer Science & Engineering at Michigan State University, Dr. Kuhn collaborates on blocking pheromone reception in the invasive sea lamprey and Asian longhorned beetle, and reducing the allelopathic effects of garlic mustard to enhance the restorability of natural areas.

The Mid-Michigan Stewardship Initiative (MMSI) has operated as a volunteer-based invasive species management and public outreach organization since 2009, primarily in northern Ingham, southern Clinton, and southwestern Shiawassee Counties. By working with 104 different private, commercial and municipal landowners on our Phragmites, Japanese knotweed, swallow-wort, woody invasive species, and garlic mustard control projects, we have brought together many entities to achieve a regional effort to control these invasives. Our goal now is to work with the MSU Vets to Ag program to survey and tackle these wetland-edge invasive species along the Red Cedar River, Looking Glass River, Vermillion Creek, and Sycamore Creek, while also partnering to reduce invasive species spread caused by right-of-way mowing. We are working together with the regional conservation districts in Ingham, Clinton, Eaton, and Ionia Counties to bring together our strengths to form a Super-CISMA that coordinates our projects and partners in the Mid-Michigan region.

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