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Western Invasives Learning Network (WILN)

The Western Invasives Learning Network (WILN) brings together staff of The Nature Conservancy and partners from across the Western U.S. to provide a forum for the development and implementation of conservation strategies to abate the threat of invasive species. The WILN is actually an outgrowth of an earlier learning network called the Aridlands Grazing Network, which was focused on understanding the role of grazing in conservation areas, and convened five times. During that network's last meeting, which was focused on invasives, it was decided that a new network should be formed---thus the Western Invasives Learning Network. Participants in this network use the adaptive management approach to develop and implement comprehensive invasive species plans by using the "enhanced 5S conservation framework": identify conservation targets, goals and threats; develop and implement strategies; measure target and threat status and the effectiveness of strategies; and evaluate and adapt conservation goals and strategies.

Statement of Purpose & Network Objectives
The Western Invasives Learning Network (WILN) provides a forum and ongoing support for the implementation of invasive species threat abatement strategies across conservation areas of various spatial scales.

Specifically, the network objectives are to:
1. Share lessons-learned from case studies,
2. Export tools, best practices and key strategies to landscape-scale practitioners,
3. Foster communication between network participants, and
4. Develop multi-scale strategies to effectively abate the invasive species threat over the long-term.

Contact Information/Network Coordinators
The WILN is coordinated and facilitated by Bob Unnasch of The Nature Conservancy's Conservation Learning Group and Mandy Tu of The Nature Conservancy's Global Invasive Species Team. For more information about the WILN or attending one of our future workshops, please contact Bob (bunnasch(at)tnc.org or 208-343-8826) or Mandy. After 6 March, contact John Randall (jrandall(at)tnc.org). All upcoming workshops will be announced on the Invasive Species Team e-mail listserve. To receive this moderated listserve, sign-up here.

The Rodney Johnson/Katharine Ordway Stewardship Endowment (RJ/KOSE) provides funding for the WILN. This endowment was established by Rodney Johnson and Katharine Ordway, with matching funds from the Conservancy, to provide financial resources for conservation and research activities in the landscapes where The Nature Conservancy works.

Information about the WILN Workshops #1-3. Information from past Aridlands Grazing Workshops #1-5 are also archived here.

Participating site information
Approximately fifty conservation areas have participated in both the WILN and its progenitor, the Aridlands Grazing Network. Here you can find detailed information about many of these conservation areas, including general descriptions and management tools (e.g., conceptual ecological models).

Additional network resources
Web sites and documents related to, produced by, or supporting the WILN.

Updated June 2006
©The Nature Conservancy, 2003