In 2006, the Midwest Invasive Plant Network's Research Committee conducted a web-based survey to help identify research needs and interactions between land managers and researchers working to manage invasive plants in the Midwest. Of 192 responses, 30% identified themselves as researchers and 70% identified themselves as managers. Researchers and managers rated working together on invasive plant issues as high or medium in importance, but neither group rated the current level of cooperation as high, with over 90% describing current cooperation as low or medium. Both groups self-associate, with 89% of researchers working with other researchers and 77% of managers working with other managers. “Lack of time” and “lack of money” were the main issues limiting researchers and land managers from working more closely together: money was a greater constraint for researchers and time was more important for land managers. To help researchers and land managers work more effectively together, both groups favored opportunities to develop research-based projects at land managers' sites, with funding from a cooperative grant program. Open-ended responses suggest that on-site experiments and demonstrations of management methods could help researchers and land managers interact more effectively. Researchers rated basic biology as more important than land managers did, but neither group judged testing theories of invasion as a high priority. “Social/political factors” and “risk assessment” were viewed as less important despite their clear relevance in the introduction and spread of invasive plants.
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Vol. 2 • No. 1