Without a budget and appropriate funding, even a well-planned weed management program has trouble progressing. Funding and the commitment of involved individuals and agencies is so vital to invasive weed management that well-planned programs include planned tasks which inform others about the program and its successes and failures. Convinced taxpayers, elected and agency officials, landowners and other volunteers will effectively support essential management. To increase funding, justify your management plan by:
- Documenting and demonstrating the impacts of invasive weeds on the economy, recreation, wildlife, transportation safety, human health, natural resources and tax base of the area.
- Establishing an operating plan and budget for the entire invasive weed management area with the cooperation of all the appropriate people, agencies and groups.
- Designating who performs which parts of the total program and develops and implements project plans.
- Showing that your program is effective in decreasing the impact of invasive weeds on your area.
- Monitoring the implementation, short-term effects, and long-term results of the program.
- Amending the plan on the basis of experience and monitoring records.
- Developing Memorandums of Understanding (MOU’s) among participants. This shows a level of broad-based support for the program. It also helps leaders to acknowledge that the invasive weed issue exists and that they have a responsibility to the community or area.
- Documenting the contributions of all participants in the plan to show good use of funds.
The primary goal of funding and program justification is to make sure people understand the economic and environmental impacts of invasive weeds, how weeds can be managed successfully, and how each fund provider or actively involved participant is needed for success.
Utilize communication skills
To be successful you must gain the necessary communication skills needed to effectively convince the public, elected officials and others to fund and implement your weed program. University of Nevada Fact Sheet 99-75 Titled: Nevada’s War on Weeds, Steps to Success, Step 1, Create Effective Coalitions with Awareness, Education and Training gives you some pointers on how and why to hone your communications skills. Communication skills are used every day. Effectively stating the need for an invasive weed management plan facilitates the process of generating funding.
Here are several key justifications for funding and support of a sound invasive weed management program:
- The possibility for support encourages cooperators to plan through the problem to find its successful resolution and to establish priorities.
- Adequate funding benefits the entire community in the long term, which generates enthusiasm and appreciation.
- The designation of an area-wide invasive weed program by diverse individuals and agencies focuses attention on a common problem and ensures that no single narrow interest is getting an unfair share of limited community resources.
- A cooperative invasive weed management program pools talents and resources for improved economic efficiency and effectiveness. For instance, one agency may contract with another for its weed management or participate on an interagency interdisciplinary team for solving a difficult problem.
- Adequate funding for effective weed management also communicates to the general public about the seriousness of invasive weeds and increases their awareness of the problem and encourages voluntary participation in the program.
- Under a weed management program, a landowner or government jurisdiction can address the problem of weeds spreading from neighboring land before the damage occurs.
- An area-wide program provides a channel for communication within the area.
- A carefully followed plan reduces the risk of damage by control actions to water, crops, Threatened & Endangered (T&E) species, etc.
- The formation of a weed management program increases the effectiveness of weed management by basing control efforts on biological and geographical factors rather than legal divisions.
- The creation of different management zones within the management area fits the most effective and environmentally sound weed management and control practices to each zone rather than using treatments based on individual preferences.
Effective justification of your program and funding Justify your program with information and data collected via other management techniques such as mapping, monitoring, or record keeping. Only on rare occasions does an organization successfully ask for funding support without a thorough explanation of how the money will be used, how the end result will benefit everyone, and what was done with previous allocations of money. A part of the process includes demonstrating past programs and their success. This series of fact sheets help you develop a complete invasive weed management plan and find answers to tough questions. When the constituency and elected officials see and understand the program’s successes, it is easier for them to support funding.