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Lower Chippewa Invasives Partnership receives Invader Crusader award

After five years of official existence and a name change, the local citizen organization, Lower Chippewa Invasives Partnership (LCIP) was awarded the 2016 Invasive Crusader Award, group category, by the Wisconsin Invasive Species Council.

LCIP, co-chaired by Kathleen Stahl of Colfax and Chris Gaetzke, Dunn County conservation planner, is dedicated to fighting invasive species such as buckthorn, wild parsnip (which blisters skin after exposure when the affected skin is exposed to the sun), and wild chervil.

The group was nominated by Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Terrestrial Invasive Species Biologist Kelly Kearns of Madison.  LCIP received the award at the Horicon Marsh Education Center in Horicon on June 9, alongside the other invasive species tyrants of Wisconsin.

LCIP is a broad alliance established to control invasive plants by fostering partner cooperation and community action.  LCIP has been consistently active in conducting outreach, prioritizing and then implementing important projects and hosting regular workshops and field work events.

The partnership has struck on an effective leadership model called a Civic Governance approach (activecitizen.org) that now has officers and a steering committee representing the wide range of partners needed to get the work done.  This model has allowed all citizens to step up and become active leaders within their community and organization.

Each year, the partnership hosts several training workshops and workdays for the public to attend within their jurisdiction in Chippewa, Dunn, Eau Claire, Pepin and Pierce counties.  LCIP works with people who have the ability to impact large areas, important high quality sites, or large numbers of people, such as township patrol managers, teachers, Master Gardeners and others.

At an WDNR/UW Extension Urban Forestry Workshop last fall in Menomonie, LCIP brought in over 60 attendees from many walks of life.  LCIP now has 20-25 events each year and are a 501(c)3 non-profit organization based out of Menomonie.

To learn more about LCIP check out www.lcinvasives.org or find them on Facebook.