The association/handoff procedures are important components in a balanced operation of 802.11-based wireless mesh networks. In this paper, the authors introduce the concept of cooperative association where the STAtions (STA) can share useful information in order to improve the performance of the association/re-association procedures. Furthermore, in this paper they introduce a load balancing mechanism that can be applied in mesh networks. This mechanism operates in a cross-layer manner taking into account uplink and downlink channel information, routing information, and congestion-based information. Their load balancing mechanism is based on a fairness index that is measured at each Access Point (AP) neighborhood. This index reflects the way the communication load is shared in the neighboring APs.