Thursday, February 15, 2018

FLORIDA LAND STEWARD UPDATE 2/15/18

FAMILY HEIRS PROPERTY IN FLORIDA: "CLOUDY TITLES" PROGRAM ANNOUNCED BY FLORIDA A&M UNIVERSITY
In awareness of the continual massive loss of property by African Americans in rural communities due to complicated legal hurdles, FAMU Cooperative Extension Program office has created the Family Heir Property Program Workshop Series. The platform is designed to show what happens to property that has been granted to either children or relatives of the original owners through heirship or by a will. Register here for Session 1 on February 24 on the topic of Heirs Property.

WINTER 2018 ISSUE OF FLORIDA'S WILDLIFE LEGACY INITIATIVE NEWSLETTER
In this issue: A Case for Collaborative Conservation, Exciting Staff Changes at Florida’s Wildlife Legacy Initiative, A Major Evolution: Florida’s New Wildlife Action Plan Nears Completion, Are Spider Crabs the Solution to Macroalgae Problems on Coral Reefs?, Recovering America’s Wildlife Act Introduced in Congress, Restoration of Florida’s Yellow River: How Planning Ahead Pays Off,

Access the current issue of the Florida Wildlife Legacy Initaive Newsletter, Winter 2018.

JOIN US FOR THE 2018 FLORIDA FOREST STEWARDSHIP LANDOWNER SHORT COURSE, MARCH 9, 2018 AT THE AUSTIN CARY FOREST CAMPUS
This new event format will feature 5 concurrent topic sessions including forest health, timber marketing and forest certification, wildlife management, tree identification, and prescribed fire. Choose 2 topics (1 morning, 1 afternoon) to customize your day. $10 fee includes lunch and materials.

Register online at https://fsp-shortcourse030918.eventbrite.com/, or contact Chris Demers, cdemers@ufl.edu, (352) 846-2375.

TIMBER TAX FILING FOR THE 2017 TAX YEAR WEBINAR, MARCH 2, 1 PM ET
A sweeping overhaul of the Tax Code passed by Congress in December 2017 triggered many questions about timber taxes. How do the new changes play out in filing timber related transactions? Also, special new rules relating to the 2017 Hurricanes provided tax relief on personal property losses including landscape tree losses. To help private forest landowners, foresters, loggers and timber businesses with their 2017 tax return filings and planning for the new tax law changes in 2018, a one-hour free webinar, presented by Dr. LInda Wang on March 2, will explain the income tax reporting rules as well as the major new law changes affecting timber transactions: Timber Tax Filing for the 2017 Tax Year

Linda's Timber Tax bulletin and other related information is available at https://timbertax.org/

CONGRATULATIONS GEORGE AND PAT OWENS, 2017 FLORIDA LAND STEWARDS OF THE YEAR
George Owens is a fourth-generation farmer in Washington County, Florida. Growing up in the farming business and involved in the 4-H Program and Future Farmers of America, he carries on the agricultural legacy of his family and land. George C. Owens Farm has become one of the most renowned silvopasture operations in the Southeastern United States. Silvopasture combines timber and livestock forage production on the same acres. The trees are managed for high-value saw logs and at the same time provide shade, shelter, and forage for livestock, reducing stress and increasing forage production. This is an intentional, integrated and intensively managed system designed to optimize timber, forage and livestock production from the same acreage, at the same time.
Florida Land Steward Partners strive to assist landowners in achieving their forest, wildlife and agricultural goals for their properties.

George C. Owens Farm demonstrates that environmental and economic sustainability walk hand in hand in good stewardship. Join us for a tour of the property on March 14, 2018: https://fsp-tour031418.eventbrite.com
      
2018 AG LAND CONSERVATION EASEMENT SIGNUP ANNOUNCED
Application Deadline is Feb. 16, 2018

USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) provides financial and technical assistance to conserve working lands and wetlands through two programs: Agricultural Land Easements (ALE) and Wetland Reserve Easements (WRE). Although applications are accepted on a continuous basis, funding selections are typically made once a year.

Agricultural landowners and Indian tribes can apply for a Wetland Reserve Easement to restore wetlands, protect wildlife habitat and recharge groundwater on their property. Eligible landowners can enroll in a permanent or 30-year easement. NRCS provides financial assistance to conservation partners for purchasing an Agricultural Land Easement that protects the agricultural use of cropland, rangeland, grassland, pastureland and nonindustrial private forestland.

Applications are available online. For wetland easements, contact Crenel Francis, (352) 338-9508 for questions and submissions. Contact Nina Bhattacharyya, (352) 338-9554 for questions and submissions about agricultural land easements.

ASSISTANCE AVAILABLE TO FOREST LANDOWNERS AND AGRICULTURAL PRODUCERS THROUGH THE CONSERVATION STEWARDSHIP PROGRAM
Applications must be received by March 2, 2018 to be considered for this funding.
Agricultural producers wanting to enhance current conservation efforts are encouraged to apply for the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP). Through CSP, USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) helps private landowners build their business while implementing conservation practices that help ensure the sustainability of their entire operation. NRCS plans to enroll up to 10 million acres in CSP in 2018.

While applications for CSP are accepted year round, applications must be received by March 2, 2018 to be considered for this funding period. Through CSP, agricultural producers and forest landowners earn payments for actively managing, maintaining, and expanding conservation activities like cover crops, ecologically-based pest management, buffer strips and pollinator habitat--all while maintaining active agriculture production on their land. CSP also encourages the adoption of cutting-edge technologies and new management techniques such as precision agriculture applications, on-site carbon storage and planting for high carbon sequestration rate, and new soil amendments to improve water quality. Some of the benefits of CSP include: improved cattle gains per acre; increased crop yields; decreased inputs; wildlife population improvements; and better resilience to weather extremes.

Producers interested in CSP are recommended to contact their local USDA service center or visit www.nrcs.usda.gov/GetStarted.

NEW PARTNERSHIP FOR CERTIFICATION AND HABITAT RESTORATION
The American Forest Foundation (AFF) and Enviva LP have announced a multi-year partnership to help private forest landowners across the Florida panhandle certify that their forests are sustainably managed and to restore longleaf pine forests to improve wildlife habitat.

The partnership, which will also include The Nature Conservancy (TNC) and other partners, will focus its efforts across 16 counties in the Florida panhandle, with a special focus in the area surrounding Cottondale, FL.. More information here:
https://www.forestfoundation.org/aff-enviva-tnc-partnership-announcement

2018 FLORIDA LAND STEWARD CALENDARS STILL AVAILABLE
The annual Florida Land Steward wall calendar features beautiful photography, habitat management tips, landowner and management highlights, resource contacts and more. First come, first serve to Florida Forest Stewards, Tree Farmers, other interested landowners. Request yours by sending an email to Chris Demers, cdemers@ufl.edu, with your mailing address. We'll have them available at events this winter and spring as well.

REPORT QUAIL AND OTHER WILDLIFE SIGHTINGSTo help restore the state’s northern bobwhite quail populations, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) is asking private landowners to report sightings of bobwhite quail on their land. Report northern bobwhite quail sightings at MyFWC.com/QuailSighting

The FWC also seeks reports of these species:


ONGOING SERVICES, INITIATIVES, PROGRAMS:


______________________________________________________________________

NEED A LOAN TO FUND CONSERVATION PROJECTS? CHECK OUT THE USDA FARM SERVICE AGENCY'S GUARANTEED CONSERVATION LOAN PROGRAM
The USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) guarantees loans to promote conservation practices on farms and ranches that help protect natural resources. The goal of FSA’s Conservation Loan (CL) program is to provide access to credit for farmers who need and want to implement conservation measures on their land, but do not have the “up front” funds available to implement these practices. For more information see this Conservation Loan Program Fact Sheet. Also see this table summarizing FSA farm loan opportunities.

The Conservation Contract Program is a program for eligible landowners that protects important natural resources and other sensitive areas while providing a debt management tool. A conservation contract is available to people with Farm Service Agency (FSA) direct loans secured by real estate. These individuals may qualify for a reduction of their FSA indebtedness in exchange for a conservation contract with a term of 50, 30 or 10 years. The conservation contract is a voluntary legal agreement that restricts the type and amount of development that may take place on portions of the landowner’s property. Contracts may be established on marginal cropland and other environmentally sensitive lands for conservation, recreation and wildlife purposes. For more information see this Conservation Contract Program Fact Sheet.

The FSA provides several types of farm loans. For more information on these opportunities, see the Florida FSA Website or contact your local FSA office to speak with a local representative


AIR POTATO PATROL CITIZEN SCIENCE PROJECT
A new on-line Citizen Science project is looking for volunteers at https://airpotatobeetle.com/. This collaborative project between University of Florida IFAS Extension and Florida Dept. of Agriculture and Consumer Services seeks to educate residents on how to identify and better control air potato vines, and to gather data important to current research and air potato leaf beetle tracking. The website contains educational videos and a blog to educate the participants and keep them updated. Volunteers will be asked to complete surveys to evaluate the level of air potato infestation and the presence of the air potato beetles in their test plots. For more information please visit the website or contact William Lester, UF/IFAS Extension, at wlester@ufl.edu.


SOMETHING BUGGING YOUR TREES? - CHECK OUT THE FOREST HEALTH DIAGNOSTICS FORUM
Hosted by a group of forest and tree health specialists with Southeastern universities and agencies, we are here to help identify pests and diseases in your forest or you backyard, and to recommend a solution, if appropriate. Join the group and report your tree health issue!

Visit the new Forest Health Diagnostic forum on Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/groups/SouthernTreeHealthDiagnostics/

FOREST STEWARDSHIP VIDEOS  - VIEW AND SHARE!
All the latest videos are on the Florida Forest Stewardship Program home page:
http://sfrc.ufl.edu/forest_stewardshipGOT AN INVASIVE SPECIES PROBLEM?
Go to floridainvasives.org for information, assistance and partnership opportunities.

LOOKING FOR INFORMATION ON A PARTICULAR TOPIC?
Check the vast array of extension publications available through UF/IFAS on the EDIS publication site:  http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/  Wow, there’s a publication about that?

UF/IFAS SCHOOL OF FOREST RESOURCES AND CONSERVATION EXTENSION PROGRAMS
See http://sfrc.ufl.edu/extension

FORESTRY AND NATURAL RESOURCES WEBINARS
For a calendar of upcoming webinars in a variety of land management topics see:
http://www.forestrywebinars.net/webinar-calendar/month#.T-zLkBhgZys.bloggerSOUTHERN

REGION EXTENSION FORESTRY
See http://sref.info/ for the latest news, tools and offer

Thursday, February 8, 2018

FLORIDA LAND STEWARD UPDATE 2/9/18

WINTER/SPRING 2018 ISSUE OF THE QUARTERLY FLORIDA LAND STEWARD NEWSLETTER NOW AVAILABLE ONLINEIn this issue: Congratulations to George and Pat Owens, 2017 Florida Land Stewards of the Year, The Florida Longleaf Pine Ecosystem Database, Landscaping for Wildlife, Timber Price Update, Certified Forest Stewards and Tree Farmers, and the Events Calendar.

Access the current and back issues of the Florida Land Steward Newsletter here.


JOIN US FOR THE 2018 FLORIDA FOREST STEWARDSHIP LANDOWNER SHORT COURSE, MARCH 9, 2018 AT THE AUSTIN CARY FOREST CAMPUS
This new event format will feature 5 concurrent topic sessions including forest health, timber marketing and forest certification, wildlife management, tree identification, and prescribed fire. Choose 2 topics (1 morning, 1 afternoon) to customize your day. $10 fee includes lunch and materials.

Register online at https://fsp-shortcourse030918.eventbrite.com/, or contact Chris Demers, cdemers@ufl.edu, (352) 846-2375.

TIMBER TAX FILING FOR THE 2017 TAX YEAR WEBINAR, MARCH 2, 1 PM ET
A sweeping overhaul of the Tax Code passed by Congress in December 2017 triggered many questions about timber taxes. How do the new changes play out in filing timber related transactions? Also, special new rules relating to the 2017 Hurricanes provided tax relief on personal property losses including landscape tree losses. To help private forest landowners, foresters, loggers and timber businesses with their 2017 tax return filings and planning for the new tax law changes in 2018, a one-hour free webinar, presented by Dr. LInda Wang on March 2, will explain the income tax reporting rules as well as the major new law changes affecting timber transactions: Timber Tax Filing for the 2017 Tax Year

Linda's Timber Tax bulletin and other related information is available at https://timbertax.org/

CONGRATULATIONS GEORGE AND PAT OWENS, 2017 FLORIDA LAND STEWARDS OF THE YEAR
George Owens is a fourth-generation farmer in Washington County, Florida. Growing up in the farming business and involved in the 4-H Program and Future Farmers of America, he carries on the agricultural legacy of his family and land. George C. Owens Farm has become one of the most renowned silvopasture operations in the Southeastern United States. Silvopasture combines timber and livestock forage production on the same acres. The trees are managed for high-value saw logs and at the same time provide shade, shelter, and forage for livestock, reducing stress and increasing forage production. This is an intentional, integrated and intensively managed system designed to optimize timber, forage and livestock production from the same acreage, at the same time.
Florida Land Steward Partners strive to assist landowners in achieving their forest, wildlife and agricultural goals for their properties.

George C. Owens Farm demonstrates that environmental and economic sustainability walk hand in hand in good stewardship. Join us for a tour of the property on March 14, 2018: https://fsp-tour031418.eventbrite.com
      
2018 AG LAND CONSERVATION EASEMENT SIGNUP ANNOUNCED
Application Deadline is Feb. 16, 2018

USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) provides financial and technical assistance to conserve working lands and wetlands through two programs: Agricultural Land Easements (ALE) and Wetland Reserve Easements (WRE). Although applications are accepted on a continuous basis, funding selections are typically made once a year.

Agricultural landowners and Indian tribes can apply for a Wetland Reserve Easement to restore wetlands, protect wildlife habitat and recharge groundwater on their property. Eligible landowners can enroll in a permanent or 30-year easement. NRCS provides financial assistance to conservation partners for purchasing an Agricultural Land Easement that protects the agricultural use of cropland, rangeland, grassland, pastureland and nonindustrial private forestland.

Applications are available online. For wetland easements, contact Crenel Francis, (352) 338-9508 for questions and submissions. Contact Nina Bhattacharyya, (352) 338-9554 for questions and submissions about agricultural land easements.

ASSISTANCE AVAILABLE TO FOREST LANDOWNERS AND AGRICULTURAL PRODUCERS THROUGH THE CONSERVATION STEWARDSHIP PROGRAM
Applications must be received by March 2, 2018 to be considered for this funding.
Agricultural producers wanting to enhance current conservation efforts are encouraged to apply for the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP). Through CSP, USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) helps private landowners build their business while implementing conservation practices that help ensure the sustainability of their entire operation. NRCS plans to enroll up to 10 million acres in CSP in 2018.

While applications for CSP are accepted year round, applications must be received by March 2, 2018 to be considered for this funding period. Through CSP, agricultural producers and forest landowners earn payments for actively managing, maintaining, and expanding conservation activities like cover crops, ecologically-based pest management, buffer strips and pollinator habitat--all while maintaining active agriculture production on their land. CSP also encourages the adoption of cutting-edge technologies and new management techniques such as precision agriculture applications, on-site carbon storage and planting for high carbon sequestration rate, and new soil amendments to improve water quality. Some of the benefits of CSP include: improved cattle gains per acre; increased crop yields; decreased inputs; wildlife population improvements; and better resilience to weather extremes.

Producers interested in CSP are recommended to contact their local USDA service center or visit www.nrcs.usda.gov/GetStarted.

NEW PARTNERSHIP FOR CERTIFICATION AND HABITAT RESTORATION
The American Forest Foundation (AFF) and Enviva LP have announced a multi-year partnership to help private forest landowners across the Florida panhandle certify that their forests are sustainably managed and to restore longleaf pine forests to improve wildlife habitat.

The partnership, which will also include The Nature Conservancy (TNC) and other partners, will focus its efforts across 16 counties in the Florida panhandle, with a special focus in the area surrounding Cottondale, FL.. More information here:
https://www.forestfoundation.org/aff-enviva-tnc-partnership-announcement

2018 FLORIDA LAND STEWARD CALENDARS STILL AVAILABLE
The annual Florida Land Steward wall calendar features beautiful photography, habitat management tips, landowner and management highlights, resource contacts and more. First come, first serve to Florida Forest Stewards, Tree Farmers, other interested landowners. Request yours by sending an email to Chris Demers, cdemers@ufl.edu, with your mailing address. We'll have them available at events this winter and spring as well.

REPORT QUAIL AND OTHER WILDLIFE SIGHTINGSTo help restore the state’s northern bobwhite quail populations, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) is asking private landowners to report sightings of bobwhite quail on their land. Report northern bobwhite quail sightings at MyFWC.com/QuailSighting

The FWC also seeks reports of these species:


ONGOING SERVICES, INITIATIVES, PROGRAMS:


______________________________________________________________________

NEED A LOAN TO FUND CONSERVATION PROJECTS? CHECK OUT THE USDA FARM SERVICE AGENCY'S GUARANTEED CONSERVATION LOAN PROGRAM
The USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) guarantees loans to promote conservation practices on farms and ranches that help protect natural resources. The goal of FSA’s Conservation Loan (CL) program is to provide access to credit for farmers who need and want to implement conservation measures on their land, but do not have the “up front” funds available to implement these practices. For more information see this Conservation Loan Program Fact Sheet. Also see this table summarizing FSA farm loan opportunities.

The Conservation Contract Program is a program for eligible landowners that protects important natural resources and other sensitive areas while providing a debt management tool. A conservation contract is available to people with Farm Service Agency (FSA) direct loans secured by real estate. These individuals may qualify for a reduction of their FSA indebtedness in exchange for a conservation contract with a term of 50, 30 or 10 years. The conservation contract is a voluntary legal agreement that restricts the type and amount of development that may take place on portions of the landowner’s property. Contracts may be established on marginal cropland and other environmentally sensitive lands for conservation, recreation and wildlife purposes. For more information see this Conservation Contract Program Fact Sheet.

The FSA provides several types of farm loans. For more information on these opportunities, see the Florida FSA Website or contact your local FSA office to speak with a local representative


AIR POTATO PATROL CITIZEN SCIENCE PROJECT
A new on-line Citizen Science project is looking for volunteers at https://airpotatobeetle.com/. This collaborative project between University of Florida IFAS Extension and Florida Dept. of Agriculture and Consumer Services seeks to educate residents on how to identify and better control air potato vines, and to gather data important to current research and air potato leaf beetle tracking. The website contains educational videos and a blog to educate the participants and keep them updated. Volunteers will be asked to complete surveys to evaluate the level of air potato infestation and the presence of the air potato beetles in their test plots. For more information please visit the website or contact William Lester, UF/IFAS Extension, at wlester@ufl.edu.


SOMETHING BUGGING YOUR TREES? - CHECK OUT THE FOREST HEALTH DIAGNOSTICS FORUM
Hosted by a group of forest and tree health specialists with Southeastern universities and agencies, we are here to help identify pests and diseases in your forest or you backyard, and to recommend a solution, if appropriate. Join the group and report your tree health issue!

Visit the new Forest Health Diagnostic forum on Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/groups/SouthernTreeHealthDiagnostics/

FOREST STEWARDSHIP VIDEOS  - VIEW AND SHARE!
All the latest videos are on the Florida Forest Stewardship Program home page:
http://sfrc.ufl.edu/forest_stewardshipGOT AN INVASIVE SPECIES PROBLEM?
Go to floridainvasives.org for information, assistance and partnership opportunities.

LOOKING FOR INFORMATION ON A PARTICULAR TOPIC?
Check the vast array of extension publications available through UF/IFAS on the EDIS publication site:  http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/  Wow, there’s a publication about that?

UF/IFAS SCHOOL OF FOREST RESOURCES AND CONSERVATION EXTENSION PROGRAMS
See http://sfrc.ufl.edu/extension

FORESTRY AND NATURAL RESOURCES WEBINARS
For a calendar of upcoming webinars in a variety of land management topics see:
http://www.forestrywebinars.net/webinar-calendar/month#.T-zLkBhgZys.bloggerSOUTHERN

REGION EXTENSION FORESTRY
See http://sref.info/ for the latest news, tools and offer

Thursday, January 25, 2018

FLORIDA LAND STEWARD UPDATE 1/25/18


TIMBER TAX FILING FOR THE 2017 TAX YEAR WEBINAR, MARCH 2, 1 PM ET

A sweeping overhaul of the Tax Code passed by Congress in December 2017 triggered many questions about timber taxes. How do the new changes play out in filing timber related transactions? Also, special new rules relating to the 2017 Hurricanes provided tax relief on personal property losses including landscape tree losses. To help private forest landowners, foresters, loggers and timber businesses with their 2017 tax return filings and planning for the new tax law changes in 2018, a one-hour free webinar, presented by Dr. LInda Wang on March 2, will explain the income tax reporting rules as well as the major new law changes affecting timber transactions: Timber Tax Filing for the 2017 Tax Year

Linda's Timber Tax bulletin and other related information is available at https://timbertax.org/

CONGRATULATIONS GEORGE AND PAT OWENS, 2017 FLORIDA LAND STEWARDS OF THE YEAR
George Owens is a fourth-generation farmer in Washington County, Florida. Growing up in the farming business and involved in the 4-H Program and Future Farmers of America, he carries on the agricultural legacy of his family and land. George C. Owens Farm has become one of the most renowned silvopasture operations in the Southeastern United States. Silvopasture combines timber and livestock forage production on the same acres. The trees are managed for high-value saw logs and at the same time provide shade, shelter, and forage for livestock, reducing stress and increasing forage production. This is an intentional, integrated and intensively managed system designed to optimize timber, forage and livestock production from the same acreage, at the same time.
Florida Land Steward Partners strive to assist landowners in achieving their forest, wildlife and agricultural goals for their properties.

George C. Owens Farm demonstrates that environmental and economic sustainability walk hand in hand in good stewardship. Join us for a tour of the property on March 14, 2018: https://fsp-tour031418.eventbrite.com
      
2018 AG LAND CONSERVATION EASEMENT SIGNUP ANNOUNCED
Application Deadline is Feb. 16, 2018

USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) provides financial and technical assistance to conserve working lands and wetlands through two programs: Agricultural Land Easements (ALE) and Wetland Reserve Easements (WRE). Although applications are accepted on a continuous basis, funding selections are typically made once a year.

Agricultural landowners and Indian tribes can apply for a Wetland Reserve Easement to restore wetlands, protect wildlife habitat and recharge groundwater on their property. Eligible landowners can enroll in a permanent or 30-year easement. NRCS provides financial assistance to conservation partners for purchasing an Agricultural Land Easement that protects the agricultural use of cropland, rangeland, grassland, pastureland and nonindustrial private forestland.

Applications are available online. For wetland easements, contact Crenel Francis, (352) 338-9508 for questions and submissions. Contact Nina Bhattacharyya, (352) 338-9554 for questions and submissions about agricultural land easements.

ASSISTANCE AVAILABLE TO FOREST LANDOWNERS AND AGRICULTURAL PRODUCERS THROUGH THE CONSERVATION STEWARDSHIP PROGRAM
Applications must be received by March 2, 2018 to be considered for this funding.
Agricultural producers wanting to enhance current conservation efforts are encouraged to apply for the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP). Through CSP, USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) helps private landowners build their business while implementing conservation practices that help ensure the sustainability of their entire operation. NRCS plans to enroll up to 10 million acres in CSP in 2018.

While applications for CSP are accepted year round, applications must be received by March 2, 2018 to be considered for this funding period. Through CSP, agricultural producers and forest landowners earn payments for actively managing, maintaining, and expanding conservation activities like cover crops, ecologically-based pest management, buffer strips and pollinator habitat--all while maintaining active agriculture production on their land. CSP also encourages the adoption of cutting-edge technologies and new management techniques such as precision agriculture applications, on-site carbon storage and planting for high carbon sequestration rate, and new soil amendments to improve water quality. Some of the benefits of CSP include: improved cattle gains per acre; increased crop yields; decreased inputs; wildlife population improvements; and better resilience to weather extremes.

Producers interested in CSP are recommended to contact their local USDA service center or visit www.nrcs.usda.gov/GetStarted.

NEW PARTNERSHIP FOR CERTIFICATION AND HABITAT RESTORATION
The American Forest Foundation (AFF) and Enviva LP have announced a multi-year partnership to help private forest landowners across the Florida panhandle certify that their forests are sustainably managed and to restore longleaf pine forests to improve wildlife habitat.

The partnership, which will also include The Nature Conservancy (TNC) and other partners, will focus its efforts across 16 counties in the Florida panhandle, with a special focus in the area surrounding Cottondale, FL.. More information here:
https://www.forestfoundation.org/aff-enviva-tnc-partnership-announcement

2018 FLORIDA LAND STEWARD CALENDARS STILL AVAILABLE
The annual Florida Land Steward wall calendar features beautiful photography, habitat management tips, landowner and management highlights, resource contacts and more. First come, first serve to Florida Forest Stewards, Tree Farmers, other interested landowners. Request yours by sending an email to Chris Demers, cdemers@ufl.edu, with your mailing address. We'll have them available at events this winter and spring as well.

REPORT QUAIL AND OTHER WILDLIFE SIGHTINGSTo help restore the state’s northern bobwhite quail populations, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) is asking private landowners to report sightings of bobwhite quail on their land. Report northern bobwhite quail sightings at MyFWC.com/QuailSighting

The FWC also seeks reports of these species:


ONGOING SERVICES, INITIATIVES, PROGRAMS:


______________________________________________________________________

NEED A LOAN TO FUND CONSERVATION PROJECTS? CHECK OUT THE USDA FARM SERVICE AGENCY'S GUARANTEED CONSERVATION LOAN PROGRAM
The USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) guarantees loans to promote conservation practices on farms and ranches that help protect natural resources. The goal of FSA’s Conservation Loan (CL) program is to provide access to credit for farmers who need and want to implement conservation measures on their land, but do not have the “up front” funds available to implement these practices. For more information see this Conservation Loan Program Fact Sheet. Also see this table summarizing FSA farm loan opportunities.

The Conservation Contract Program is a program for eligible landowners that protects important natural resources and other sensitive areas while providing a debt management tool. A conservation contract is available to people with Farm Service Agency (FSA) direct loans secured by real estate. These individuals may qualify for a reduction of their FSA indebtedness in exchange for a conservation contract with a term of 50, 30 or 10 years. The conservation contract is a voluntary legal agreement that restricts the type and amount of development that may take place on portions of the landowner’s property. Contracts may be established on marginal cropland and other environmentally sensitive lands for conservation, recreation and wildlife purposes. For more information see this Conservation Contract Program Fact Sheet.

The FSA provides several types of farm loans. For more information on these opportunities, see the Florida FSA Website or contact your local FSA office to speak with a local representative


AIR POTATO PATROL CITIZEN SCIENCE PROJECT
A new on-line Citizen Science project is looking for volunteers at https://airpotatobeetle.com/. This collaborative project between University of Florida IFAS Extension and Florida Dept. of Agriculture and Consumer Services seeks to educate residents on how to identify and better control air potato vines, and to gather data important to current research and air potato leaf beetle tracking. The website contains educational videos and a blog to educate the participants and keep them updated. Volunteers will be asked to complete surveys to evaluate the level of air potato infestation and the presence of the air potato beetles in their test plots. For more information please visit the website or contact William Lester, UF/IFAS Extension, at wlester@ufl.edu.


SOMETHING BUGGING YOUR TREES? - CHECK OUT THE FOREST HEALTH DIAGNOSTICS FORUM
Hosted by a group of forest and tree health specialists with Southeastern universities and agencies, we are here to help identify pests and diseases in your forest or you backyard, and to recommend a solution, if appropriate. Join the group and report your tree health issue!

Visit the new Forest Health Diagnostic forum on Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/groups/SouthernTreeHealthDiagnostics/

FOREST STEWARDSHIP VIDEOS  - VIEW AND SHARE!
All the latest videos are on the Florida Forest Stewardship Program home page:
http://sfrc.ufl.edu/forest_stewardshipGOT AN INVASIVE SPECIES PROBLEM?
Go to floridainvasives.org for information, assistance and partnership opportunities.

LOOKING FOR INFORMATION ON A PARTICULAR TOPIC?
Check the vast array of extension publications available through UF/IFAS on the EDIS publication site:  http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/  Wow, there’s a publication about that?

UF/IFAS SCHOOL OF FOREST RESOURCES AND CONSERVATION EXTENSION PROGRAMS
See http://sfrc.ufl.edu/extension

FORESTRY AND NATURAL RESOURCES WEBINARS
For a calendar of upcoming webinars in a variety of land management topics see:
http://www.forestrywebinars.net/webinar-calendar/month#.T-zLkBhgZys.bloggerSOUTHERN

REGION EXTENSION FORESTRY
See http://sref.info/ for the latest news, tools and offer

Friday, January 19, 2018

FLORIDA LAND STEWARD UPDATE 1/19/18


CONGRATULATIONS GEORGE AND PAT OWENS, 2017 FLORIDA LAND STEWARDS OF THE YEAR
George Owens is a fourth-generation farmer in Washington County, Florida. Growing up in the farming business and involved in the 4-H Program and Future Farmers of America, he carries on the agricultural legacy of his family and land. George C. Owens Farm is recognized by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services as a Century Pioneer Family Farm. This program honors family farms that have been maintained for at least 100 years of continuous ownership, and recognizes these pioneers as the original stewards of the land in preserving environmental resources, and for helping foster the state’s agricultural industry.

George C. Owens Farm has become one of the most renowned silvopasture operations in the Southeastern United States. Silvopasture combines timber and livestock forage production on the same acres. The trees are managed for high-value saw logs and at the same time provide shade, shelter, and forage for livestock, reducing stress and increasing forage production. This is an intentional, integrated and intensively managed system designed to optimize timber, forage and livestock production from the same acreage, at the same time.

Silvopastoral systems offer distinct economic and environmental benefits. Among the most important is the potential for annual revenue, and therefore improved cash flow compared to what can be expected from timber production alone. Other advantages from the timber management perspective include: vegetation control under tree canopies by grazing, and increased tree growth as a by-product of forage fertilization and animal waste recycling.
       
Silvopastures provide benefits to livestock management as well. There is a longer grazing period compared to open pasture due to earlier green-up and delayed forage maturity under tree canopies. Trees offer shelter to livestock from heat and inclement weather.
     
Florida Land Steward Partners strive to assist landowners in achieving their forest, wildlife and agricultural goals for their properties. George C. Owens Farm demonstrates that environmental and economic sustainability walk hand in hand in good stewardship. Join us for a tour of the property on March 14, 2018: https://fsp-tour031418.eventbrite.com

START 2018 WITH A PLAN REVIEW
The start of the year is a good time to dust off your management plan and give it a review. As you review: 
  • Make notes on the activities you did in 2017.  Include information like the date completed, description of what was done and where, and any permits, contracts or other paperwork. 
  • Update your activity schedule if you had to postpone any tasks.  Include notes on the reason for the delay and the updated timeline for completion. 
  • Record changes in the condition of your land. For example, was your land impacted by storms, floods, fires, etc.? Document where the damage occurred and any follow up tasks associated with that damage. 
Apply for or Renew Your Greenbelt: In most counties, growing timber qualifies for agricultural classification for property tax assessment. This REQUIRES AN APPLICATION to your county property appraiser. In order to have your land considered for agricultural classification, you must apply to the property appraiser no later than March 1 of the year for which the classification is being sought. This is done by filling out and submitting the proper form, available at your county Property Appraiser's Office. 
     
Find your County Property Appraiser at: http://floridarevenue.com/property/Pages/LocalOfficials.aspx

If you already have Greenbelt your County Appraiser will send a letter regarding renewal for the year.

See our short Greenbelt video.

2018 FLORIDA LAND STEWARD CALENDARS AVAILABLE
The annual Florida Land Steward wall calendar features beautiful photography, habitat management tips, landowner and management highlights, resource contacts and more. First come, first serve to Florida Forest Stewards, Tree Farmers, other interested landowners. Request yours by sending an email to Chris Demers, cdemers@ufl.edu, with your mailing address. We'll have them available at events this winter and spring as well.

TAX TIPS FOR FOREST LANDOWNERS FOR THE 2017 TAX YEAR
Specific federal income tax laws and rules apply to timber related income and expenses. Dr. Linda Wang's annual tax tips bulletin is intended to assist timber owners, foresters, loggers and their tax preparers in filing the 2017 tax returns. This bulletin, information on timber casualty loss from storm damage, and more is available at https://timbertax.org/

2018 AG LAND CONSERVATION EASEMENT SIGNUP
Application Deadline is Feb. 16, 2018
USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) provides financial and technical assistance to conserve working lands and wetlands through two programs: Agricultural Land Easements (ALE) and Wetland Reserve Easements (WRE). Although applications are accepted on a continuous basis, funding selections are typically made once a year.

Agricultural landowners and Indian tribes can apply for a Wetland Reserve Easement to restore wetlands, protect wildlife habitat and recharge groundwater on their property. Eligible landowners can enroll in a permanent or 30-year easement.
     
NRCS provides financial assistance to conservation partners for purchasing an Agricultural Land Easement that protects the agricultural use of cropland, rangeland, grassland, pastureland and nonindustrial private forestland.
Applications are available online. For wetland easements, contact Crenel Francis, (352) 338-9508 for questions and submissions. Contact Nina Bhattacharyya, (352) 338-9554 for questions and submissions about agricultural land easements.

NEW PARTNERSHIP FOR CERTIFICATION AND HABITAT RESTORATION
The American Forest Foundation (AFF) and Enviva LP have announced a multi-year partnership to help private forest landowners across the Florida panhandle certify that their forests are sustainably managed and to restore longleaf pine forests to improve wildlife habitat. 

The partnership, which will also include The Nature Conservancy (TNC) and other partners, will focus its efforts across 16 counties in the Florida panhandle, with a special focus in the area surrounding Cottondale, FL.. More information here:
https://www.forestfoundation.org/aff-enviva-tnc-partnership-announcement


REPORT QUAIL AND OTHER WILDLIFE SIGHTINGS
To help restore the state’s northern bobwhite quail populations, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) is asking private landowners to report sightings of bobwhite quail on their land. Report northern bobwhite quail sightings at MyFWC.com/QuailSighting

The FWC also seeks reports of these species:


ONGOING SERVICES, INITIATIVES, PROGRAMS:

______________________________________________________________________

NEED A LOAN TO FUND CONSERVATION PROJECTS? CHECK OUT THE USDA FARM SERVICE AGENCY'S GUARANTEED CONSERVATION LOAN PROGRAM
The USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) guarantees loans to promote conservation practices on farms and ranches that help protect natural resources. The goal of FSA’s Conservation Loan (CL) program is to provide access to credit for farmers who need and want to implement conservation measures on their land, but do not have the “up front” funds available to implement these practices. For more information see this Conservation Loan Program Fact Sheet. Also see this table summarizing FSA farm loan opportunities.

The Conservation Contract Program is a program for eligible landowners that protects important natural resources and other sensitive areas while providing a debt management tool. A conservation contract is available to people with Farm Service Agency (FSA) direct loans secured by real estate. These individuals may qualify for a reduction of their FSA indebtedness in exchange for a conservation contract with a term of 50, 30 or 10 years. The conservation contract is a voluntary legal agreement that restricts the type and amount of development that may take place on portions of the landowner’s property. Contracts may be established on marginal cropland and other environmentally sensitive lands for conservation, recreation and wildlife purposes. For more information see this Conservation Contract Program Fact Sheet.

The FSA provides several types of farm loans. For more information on these opportunities, see the Florida FSA Website or contact your local FSA office to speak with a local representative


AIR POTATO PATROL CITIZEN SCIENCE PROJECT
A new on-line Citizen Science project is looking for volunteers at https://airpotatobeetle.com/. This collaborative project between University of Florida IFAS Extension and Florida Dept. of Agriculture and Consumer Services seeks to educate residents on how to identify and better control air potato vines, and to gather data important to current research and air potato leaf beetle tracking. The website contains educational videos and a blog to educate the participants and keep them updated. Volunteers will be asked to complete surveys to evaluate the level of air potato infestation and the presence of the air potato beetles in their test plots. For more information please visit the website or contact William Lester, UF/IFAS Extension, at wlester@ufl.edu.


SOMETHING BUGGING YOUR TREES? - CHECK OUT THE FOREST HEALTH DIAGNOSTICS FORUM
Hosted by a group of forest and tree health specialists with Southeastern universities and agencies, we are here to help identify pests and diseases in your forest or you backyard, and to recommend a solution, if appropriate. Join the group and report your tree health issue!

Visit the new Forest Health Diagnostic forum on Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/groups/SouthernTreeHealthDiagnostics/

FOREST STEWARDSHIP VIDEOS  - VIEW AND SHARE!
All the latest videos are on the Florida Forest Stewardship Program home page:
http://sfrc.ufl.edu/forest_stewardshipGOT AN INVASIVE SPECIES PROBLEM?
Go to floridainvasives.org for information, assistance and partnership opportunities.

LOOKING FOR INFORMATION ON A PARTICULAR TOPIC?
Check the vast array of extension publications available through UF/IFAS on the EDIS publication site:  http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/  Wow, there’s a publication about that?

UF/IFAS SCHOOL OF FOREST RESOURCES AND CONSERVATION EXTENSION PROGRAMS
See http://sfrc.ufl.edu/extension

FORESTRY AND NATURAL RESOURCES WEBINARS
For a calendar of upcoming webinars in a variety of land management topics see:
http://www.forestrywebinars.net/webinar-calendar/month#.T-zLkBhgZys.bloggerSOUTHERN

REGION EXTENSION FORESTRY
See http://sref.info/ for the latest news, tools and offer

Thursday, January 11, 2018

FLORIDA LAND STEWARD UPDATE 1/12/18

2018 GREETINGS
The start of the new year is a good time to dust off your management plan and give it a review. As you review: 
  • Make notes on the activities you did in 2017.  Include information like the date completed, description of what was done and where, and any permits, contracts or other paperwork. 
  • Update your activity schedule if you had to postpone any tasks.  Include notes on the reason for the delay and the updated timeline for completion. 
  • Record changes in the condition of your land. For example, was your land impacted by storms, floods, fires, etc.? Document where the damage occurred and any follow up tasks associated with that damage. 
Apply for or Renew Your Greenbelt: In most counties, growing timber qualifies for agricultural classification for property tax assessment. This REQUIRES AN APPLICATION to your county property appraiser. In order to have your land considered for agricultural classification, you must apply to the property appraiser no later than March 1 of the year for which the classification is being sought. This is done by filling out and submitting the proper form, available at your county Property Appraiser's Office. 
     
Find your County Property Appraiser at: http://floridarevenue.com/property/Pages/LocalOfficials.aspx

If you already have Greenbelt your County Appraiser will send a letter regarding renewal for the year.

See our short Greenbelt video.

2018 FLORIDA LAND STEWARD CALENDARS AVAILABLE
The annual Florida Land Steward wall calendar features beautiful photography, habitat management tips, landowner and management highlights, resource contacts and more. First come, first serve to Florida Forest Stewards, Tree Farmers, other interested landowners. Request yours by sending an email to Chris Demers, cdemers@ufl.edu, with your mailing address. We'll have them available at events this winter and spring as well.

TAX TIPS FOR FOREST LANDOWNERS FOR THE 2017 TAX YEAR
Specific federal income tax laws and rules apply to timber related income and expenses. Dr. Linda Wang's annual tax tips bulletin is intended to assist timber owners, foresters, loggers and their tax preparers in filing the 2017 tax returns. This bulletin, information on timber casualty loss from storm damage, and more is available at https://timbertax.org/

2018 AG LAND CONSERVATION EASEMENT SIGNUP
Application Deadline is Feb. 16, 2018
USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) provides financial and technical assistance to conserve working lands and wetlands through two programs: Agricultural Land Easements (ALE) and Wetland Reserve Easements (WRE). Although applications are accepted on a continuous basis, funding selections are typically made once a year.

Agricultural landowners and Indian tribes can apply for a Wetland Reserve Easement to restore wetlands, protect wildlife habitat and recharge groundwater on their property. Eligible landowners can enroll in a permanent or 30-year easement.
     
NRCS provides financial assistance to conservation partners for purchasing an Agricultural Land Easement that protects the agricultural use of cropland, rangeland, grassland, pastureland and nonindustrial private forestland.
Applications are available online. For wetland easements, contact Crenel Francis, (352) 338-9508 for questions and submissions. Contact Nina Bhattacharyya, (352) 338-9554 for questions and submissions about agricultural land easements.

NEW PARTNERSHIP FOR CERTIFICATION AND HABITAT RESTORATION
The American Forest Foundation (AFF) and Enviva LP have announced a multi-year partnership to help private forest landowners across the Florida panhandle certify that their forests are sustainably managed and to restore longleaf pine forests to improve wildlife habitat. 

The partnership, which will also include The Nature Conservancy (TNC) and other partners, will focus its efforts across 16 counties in the Florida panhandle, with a special focus in the area surrounding Cottondale, FL.. More information here:
https://www.forestfoundation.org/aff-enviva-tnc-partnership-announcement


REPORT QUAIL AND OTHER WILDLIFE SIGHTINGS
To help restore the state’s northern bobwhite quail populations, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) is asking private landowners to report sightings of bobwhite quail on their land. Report northern bobwhite quail sightings at MyFWC.com/QuailSighting

The FWC also seeks reports of these species:


ONGOING SERVICES, INITIATIVES, PROGRAMS:
______________________________________________________________________

NEED A LOAN TO FUND CONSERVATION PROJECTS? CHECK OUT THE USDA FARM SERVICE AGENCY'S GUARANTEED CONSERVATION LOAN PROGRAM
The USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) guarantees loans to promote conservation practices on farms and ranches that help protect natural resources. The goal of FSA’s Conservation Loan (CL) program is to provide access to credit for farmers who need and want to implement conservation measures on their land, but do not have the “up front” funds available to implement these practices. For more information see this Conservation Loan Program Fact Sheet. Also see this table summarizing FSA farm loan opportunities.

The Conservation Contract Program is a program for eligible landowners that protects important natural resources and other sensitive areas while providing a debt management tool. A conservation contract is available to people with Farm Service Agency (FSA) direct loans secured by real estate. These individuals may qualify for a reduction of their FSA indebtedness in exchange for a conservation contract with a term of 50, 30 or 10 years. The conservation contract is a voluntary legal agreement that restricts the type and amount of development that may take place on portions of the landowner’s property. Contracts may be established on marginal cropland and other environmentally sensitive lands for conservation, recreation and wildlife purposes. For more information see this Conservation Contract Program Fact Sheet.

The FSA provides several types of farm loans. For more information on these opportunities, see the Florida FSA Website or contact your local FSA office to speak with a local representative


AIR POTATO PATROL CITIZEN SCIENCE PROJECT
A new on-line Citizen Science project is looking for volunteers at https://airpotatobeetle.com/. This collaborative project between University of Florida IFAS Extension and Florida Dept. of Agriculture and Consumer Services seeks to educate residents on how to identify and better control air potato vines, and to gather data important to current research and air potato leaf beetle tracking. The website contains educational videos and a blog to educate the participants and keep them updated. Volunteers will be asked to complete surveys to evaluate the level of air potato infestation and the presence of the air potato beetles in their test plots. For more information please visit the website or contact William Lester, UF/IFAS Extension, at wlester@ufl.edu.


SOMETHING BUGGING YOUR TREES? - CHECK OUT THE FOREST HEALTH DIAGNOSTICS FORUM
Hosted by a group of forest and tree health specialists with Southeastern universities and agencies, we are here to help identify pests and diseases in your forest or you backyard, and to recommend a solution, if appropriate. Join the group and report your tree health issue!

Visit the new Forest Health Diagnostic forum on Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/groups/SouthernTreeHealthDiagnostics/

FOREST STEWARDSHIP VIDEOS  - VIEW AND SHARE!
All the latest videos are on the Florida Forest Stewardship Program home page:
http://sfrc.ufl.edu/forest_stewardshipGOT AN INVASIVE SPECIES PROBLEM?
Go to floridainvasives.org for information, assistance and partnership opportunities.

LOOKING FOR INFORMATION ON A PARTICULAR TOPIC?
Check the vast array of extension publications available through UF/IFAS on the EDIS publication site:  http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/  Wow, there’s a publication about that?

UF/IFAS SCHOOL OF FOREST RESOURCES AND CONSERVATION EXTENSION PROGRAMS
See http://sfrc.ufl.edu/extension

FORESTRY AND NATURAL RESOURCES WEBINARS
For a calendar of upcoming webinars in a variety of land management topics see:
http://www.forestrywebinars.net/webinar-calendar/month#.T-zLkBhgZys.bloggerSOUTHERN

REGION EXTENSION FORESTRY
See http://sref.info/ for the latest news, tools and offer

Thursday, December 14, 2017

FLORIDA LAND STEWARD UPDATE 12/15/17

2018 FLORIDA LAND STEWARD CALENDARS WILL BE AVAILABLE SOON
The annual Florida Land Steward wall calendar features beautiful photography, habitat management tips, landowner and management highlights, resource contacts and more. These make a great gift and have become a regular part of homes and offices across Florida. First come, first serve to Florida Forest Stewards, Tree Farmers, other interested landowners. Request yours by sending an email to Chris Demers, cdemers@ufl.edu, with your mailing address.

ASSISTANCE AVAILABLE FOR IRMA DAMAGED AG LAND
Application deadline is December. 28
The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) has established a special Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) sign up Nov. 28-Dec. 28 to help agricultural producers who suffered damage from Hurricane Irma with financial and technical assistance.

Conservation practices available through this EQIP funding specifically address natural resource concerns from hurricane flood and wind damage and provide future protection from exceptional storm events. Declared disaster counties that are eligible under this sign up include:  Alachua, Baker, Bradford, Brevard, Broward, Charlotte, Citrus, Clay, Collier, Columbia, DeSoto, Dixie, Duval, Flagler, Gilchrist, Glades, Hardee, Hendry, Hernando, Highlands, Hillsborough, Indian River, Lafayette, Lake, Lee, Levy, Manatee, Marion, Martin, Miami-Dade, Monroe, Nassau, Okeechobee, Orange, Osceola, Palm Beach, Pasco, Pinellas, Polk, Putnam, Sarasota, Seminole, St. Johns, St. Lucie, Sumter, Suwannee, Union, Volusia.

Farmers and ranchers seeking NRCS financial and technical assistance can sign up for EQIP at the local NRCS field office.

2018 AG LAND CONSERVATION EASEMENT SIGNUP ANNOUNCED
Application Deadline is Feb. 16, 2018
USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) provides financial and technical assistance to conserve working lands and wetlands through two programs: Agricultural Land Easements (ALE) and Wetland Reserve Easements (WRE). Although applications are accepted on a continuous basis, funding selections are typically made once a year.

Agricultural landowners and Indian tribes can apply for a Wetland Reserve Easement to restore wetlands, protect wildlife habitat and recharge groundwater on their property. Eligible landowners can enroll in a permanent or 30-year easement.
     
NRCS provides financial assistance to conservation partners for purchasing an Agricultural Land Easement that protects the agricultural use of cropland, rangeland, grassland, pastureland and nonindustrial private forestland.

Applications are available online. For wetland easements, contact Crenel Francis, (352) 338-9508 for questions and submissions. Contact Nina Bhattacharyya, (352) 338-9554 for questions and submissions about agricultural land easements.

NEW PARTNERSHIP FOR CERTIFICATION AND HABITAT RESTORATION
The American Forest Foundation (AFF) and Enviva LP have announced a multi-year partnership to help private forest landowners across the Florida panhandle certify that their forests are sustainably managed and to restore longleaf pine forests to improve wildlife habitat.

The partnership, which will also include The Nature Conservancy (TNC) and other partners, will focus its efforts across 16 counties in the Florida panhandle, with a special focus in the area surrounding Cottondale, FL.. More information here:
https://www.forestfoundation.org/aff-enviva-tnc-partnership-announcement

REPORT QUAIL AND OTHER WILDLIFE SIGHTINGS
To help restore the state’s northern bobwhite quail populations, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) is asking private landowners to report sightings of bobwhite quail on their land. Report northern bobwhite quail sightings at MyFWC.com/QuailSighting

The FWC also seeks reports of these species:

TAX TIPS FOR FOREST LANDOWNERS FOR THE 2017 TAX YEAR

Specific federal income tax laws and rules apply to timber related income and expenses. Dr. Linda Wang's annual tax tips bulletin is intended to assist timber owners, foresters, loggers and their tax preparers in filing the 2017 tax returns. This bulletin, information on timber casualty loss from storm damage, and more is available at https://timbertax.org/

FLORIDA TREE FARMERS: TIME FOR A FIVE-YEAR INSPECTION?
The Florida Tree Farm Program requests that certified Tree farmers, who have been certified in the American Tree Farm System for five years, contact a Tree Farm inspector to have their Tree Farm reinspected. All Tree Farms must be inspected every five years in order to verify activity and maintain the credibility of the Program. We very much appreciate your help with the five-year inspection process and everything you do for forest stewardship in Florida.

Find your Tree Farm District Representative at https://www.treefarmsystem.org/about-fl
Your Florida Forest Service County Forester can help with the inspection as well. Find your County Forester at http://www.freshfromflorida.com/Divisions-Offices/Florida-Forest-Service/For-Landowners/County-Foresters   
     
NEED A LOAN TO FUND CONSERVATION PROJECTS? CHECK OUT THE USDA FARM SERVICE AGENCY'S GUARANTEED CONSERVATION LOAN PROGRAM
The USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) guarantees loans to promote conservation practices on farms and ranches that help protect natural resources. The goal of FSA’s Conservation Loan (CL) program is to provide access to credit for farmers who need and want to implement conservation measures on their land, but do not have the “up front” funds available to implement these practices. For more information see this Conservation Loan Program Fact Sheet. Also see this table summarizing FSA farm loan opportunities.

The Conservation Contract Program is a program for eligible landowners that protects important natural resources and other sensitive areas while providing a debt management tool. A conservation contract is available to people with Farm Service Agency (FSA) direct loans secured by real estate. These individuals may qualify for a reduction of their FSA indebtedness in exchange for a conservation contract with a term of 50, 30 or 10 years. The conservation contract is a voluntary legal agreement that restricts the type and amount of development that may take place on portions of the landowner’s property. Contracts may be established on marginal cropland and other environmentally sensitive lands for conservation, recreation and wildlife purposes. For more information see this Conservation Contract Program Fact Sheet.

The FSA provides several types of farm loans. For more information on these opportunities, see the Florida FSA Website or contact your local FSA office to speak with a local representative


AIR POTATO PATROL CITIZEN SCIENCE PROJECT
A new on-line Citizen Science project is looking for volunteers at https://airpotatobeetle.com/. This collaborative project between University of Florida IFAS Extension and Florida Dept. of Agriculture and Consumer Services seeks to educate residents on how to identify and better control air potato vines, and to gather data important to current research and air potato leaf beetle tracking. The website contains educational videos and a blog to educate the participants and keep them updated. Volunteers will be asked to complete surveys to evaluate the level of air potato infestation and the presence of the air potato beetles in their test plots. For more information please visit the website or contact William Lester, UF/IFAS Extension, at wlester@ufl.edu.


SOMETHING BUGGING YOUR TREES? - CHECK OUT THE FOREST HEALTH DIAGNOSTICS FORUM
Hosted by a group of forest and tree health specialists with Southeastern universities and agencies, we are here to help identify pests and diseases in your forest or you backyard, and to recommend a solution, if appropriate. Join the group and report your tree health issue!

Visit the new Forest Health Diagnostic forum on Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/groups/SouthernTreeHealthDiagnostics/

ONGOING SERVICES, INITIATIVES, PROGRAMS:
______________________________________________________________________

FOREST STEWARDSHIP VIDEOS  - VIEW AND SHARE!
All the latest videos are on the Florida Forest Stewardship Program home page:
http://sfrc.ufl.edu/forest_stewardshipGOT AN INVASIVE SPECIES PROBLEM?
Go to floridainvasives.org for information, assistance and partnership opportunities.

LOOKING FOR INFORMATION ON A PARTICULAR TOPIC?
Check the vast array of extension publications available through UF/IFAS on the EDIS publication site:  http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/  Wow, there’s a publication about that?

UF/IFAS SCHOOL OF FOREST RESOURCES AND CONSERVATION EXTENSION PROGRAMS
See http://sfrc.ufl.edu/extension

FORESTRY AND NATURAL RESOURCES WEBINARS
For a calendar of upcoming webinars in a variety of land management topics see:
http://www.forestrywebinars.net/webinar-calendar/month#.T-zLkBhgZys.bloggerSOUTHERN REGION EXTENSION FORESTRY
See http://sref.info/ for the latest news, tools and offer