Friday, March 10, 2017

FLORIDA LAND STEWARD UPDATE 3/10/17

GOPHER TORTOISE DAY - APRIL 10, 2017
April 10th was officially adopted by the Gopher Tortoise Council as Gopher Tortoise Day! In Florida, gopher tortoises are found in parts of all 67 counties and are frequently encountered in neighborhoods, along roadways, and in many of Florida’s public parks and forests. The goal of Gopher Tortoise Day is to increase awareness and appreciation for these long lived, gentle reptiles.

Gopher tortoises are considered a keystone species because they dig burrows that provide shelter for 360 other species of wildlife, called “commensals.” These commensal species include the gopher frog, Florida mouse, eastern indigo snake, and hundreds of invertebrates like beetles and crickets. Without the gopher tortoise, many of these species would not exist.

You can help celebrate Florida’s only native tortoise by hosting an event in your community, asking your local City or County Commission to officially adopt April 10 as Gopher Tortoise Day, and by educating others on the importance of protecting gopher tortoises.
      
Landowners can earn income by adopting relocated gopher tortoises. Are you managing your land for upland pine habitat? Learn about an opportunity to adopt relocated gopher tortoises and earn income. That and other timber income related topics will be covered at these upcoming workshops:
March 16, Nassau County: http://fsp-workshop031617.eventbrite.com/
May 25, Gadsden County: http://fsp-workshop052517.eventbrite.com/

Learn more about the gopher tortoise by visiting MyFWC.com/GopherTortoise or GopherTortoiseCouncil.org.

More Gopher Tortoise Resources:

Download free FWC gopher tortoise app to either Android and iOS smart phones – http://myfwc.com/wildlifehabitats/managed/gopher-tortoise/app

Gopher Tortoise Council – http://www.gophertortoisecouncil.org or https://www.facebook.com/Gopher-Tortoise-Council-138521712832770/

Celebrate Gopher Tortoise Day in Florida on April 10 – http://gophertortoisedayfl.com

TIMBER TAX INFO
Dr. Linda Wang's annual Timber Tax Tips publication and other related resources are available at the National Timber Tax website: http://www.timbertax.org/.


ONGOING SERVICES, INITIATIVES, PROGRAMS:
______________________________________________________________________

SOMETHING BUGGING YOUR TREES?
Do you have pests or a disease in your trees? Leaves or needles wilting, and you don’t know why? Sawdust falling out of your trees, and you don’t know how to save them? There is help: ask your question at the free Forest Health Diagnostic Forum: http://sfrc.ufl.edu/treehealth/forum/.

FOREST STEWARDSHIP VIDEOS  - VIEW AND SHARE!
All the latest videos are on the Florida Forest Stewardship Program home page:
http://sfrc.ufl.edu/forest_stewardship

GOT 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?


FWC REQUESTS REPORTS OF WILDLIFE SIGHTINGS:

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.blogger


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

Friday, March 3, 2017

FLORIDA LAND STEWARD UPDATE 3/3/17


NATIONAL INVASIVE SPECIES AWARENESS WEEK (NISAW)
February 27 - March 3, 2017

It's a good time to remind landowners and managers to be vigilant in monitoring your property or the land you manage for invasive species. The greatest risk of invasive plant introduction is when treatments take place with heavy equipment and soil disturbance. After thinnings, harvests, discing, tree planting and other treatments closely monitor those areas for invasive plants like cogongrass and many others.

Invasive species know no boundaries! The Florida Invasive Species Partnership (FISP) is working across land, agency and organization boundaries to address invasive species issues. Find information and assistance at http://www.floridainvasives.org/. For the latest about FISP and Cooperative Invasive Species Management Area (CISMA) activities check out the most recent FlSP Outreach Quarterly newsletter.

TIMBER TAX WEBINAR TODAY
Timber Tax Webinar, March 3, 2017: Dr. Linda Wang, National Timber Tax Specialist, USDA Forest Service, will present a webinar providing the latest tax info, filing season updates, practical tax tips on how to report timber sale, what timber-related expenses and losses can be deducted, who is responsible for filing 1099 on timber sales, and the IRS rules on record keeping and substantiating expenses. See link below for details:
         
March 3, 2017, American Forest Foundation Webinar: Timber Tax Filing for the 2016 Tax Year (link), 1 pm ET.

Dr. Linda Wang's annual Timber Tax Tips publication and other related resources are available at the National Timber Tax website: http://www.timbertax.org/.


ONGOING SERVICES, INITIATIVES, PROGRAMS:
______________________________________________________________________

SOMETHING BUGGING YOUR TREES?
Do you have pests or a disease in your trees? Leaves or needles wilting, and you don’t know why? Sawdust falling out of your trees, and you don’t know how to save them? There is help: ask your question at the free Forest Health Diagnostic Forum: http://sfrc.ufl.edu/treehealth/forum/.

FOREST STEWARDSHIP VIDEOS  - VIEW AND SHARE!
All the latest videos are on the Florida Forest Stewardship Program home page:
http://sfrc.ufl.edu/forest_stewardship

GOT 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?


FWC REQUESTS REPORTS OF WILDLIFE SIGHTINGS:

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.blogger


SOUTHERN REGION EXTENSION FORESTRYSee http://sref.info/ for the latest news, tools and offerings.

Friday, February 10, 2017

FLORIDA LAND STEWARD UPDATE 2/10/17

WINTER-SPRING 2017 ISSUE OF QUARTERLY FLORIDA LAND STEWARD NEWSLETTER
Issue 6.1 is online on its way to mailboxes soon. In this issue: Congratulations David Findley: 2016 Florida Outstanding Tree Farm Inspector of the Year, Living with Wildlife: the Ordeal of Lucky the Rat Snake, We Would Like to Hear from You, Invasive Species Feature: Emeral Ash Borer, Timber Price Update, Certified Forest Stewards and Tree Farmers, Events Calendar.

The current and back issues of the Florida Land Steward are at: http://www.sfrc.ufl.edu/Extension/florida_forestry_information/additional_pages/newsletter.html

JANUARY-FEBRUARY 2017 ISSUE OF SOUTHERN FIRE EXCHANGE'S FIRE LINES NEWSLETTER
In this issue of our bimonthly newsletter, research results for the Southeast:  Effects of Repeated Growing Season Burns in the Piedmont, More on Shortleaf Pine Integrity: Post-Fire Resprouting, Duff Consumption and Post-Fire Longleaf Pine Mortality.
Resources, news, and upcoming events: SFE Webinar Update, Invasives and Burn Plans, AFE's Orlando Fire Congress: Calls for Proposals Open!, FEIS Requests, Request for U.S. Post-Fire Tree Mortality Data.

The current and back issues of Fire Lines are at:
http://www.southernfireexchange.org/SFE_Publications/Newsletter.html

TIMBER TAX WEBINARS COMING UP
Timber Tax Webinars on February 17 and March 3, 2017: Dr. Linda Wang, National Timber Tax Specialist, USDA Forest Service, will present 2 webinars providing the latest tax info, filing season updates, practical tax tips on how to report timber sale, what timber-related expenses and losses can be deducted, who is responsible for filing 1099 on timber sales, and the IRS rules on record keeping and substantiating expenses. See links below for details:

February 17, 2017, Forestry Webinar: Timber Tax Filing for the 2016 Tax Year (link), 1 pm ET.

March 3, 2017, American Forest Foundation Webinar: Timber Tax Filing for the 2016 Tax Year (link)
, 1 pm ET.

Dr. Linda Wang's annual Timber Tax Tips publication and other related resources are available at the National Timber Tax website: http://www.timbertax.org/.

DOWNLOAD THE GOPHER TORTOISE SMARTPHONE APP
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission needs your help documenting where gopher tortoises live. You can help by downloading and using the “Florida Gopher Tortoise” smartphone application (app). With this app, you can record the location of gopher tortoises you may see in your yard, neighborhood, or crossing the road. This information will help FWC biologists better understand where populations of gopher tortoises live. more info here: http://myfwc.com/wildlifehabitats/managed/gopher-tortoise/app/

SIGN UP FOR AGRICULTURAL LAND EASEMENTS
The application deadline is February 24 for fiscal year 2017 funding.
NRCS provides financial assistance to partners for purchasing Agricultural Land Easements that protect the use and conservation values of eligible land. In the case of working farms, the program helps farmers and ranchers keep their land in agriculture. The program also protects grazing uses and related conservation values by conserving grassland, including rangeland, pastureland and shrubland.  Eligible partners include Indian tribes, state and local governments and non-governmental organizations that have farmland or grassland protection programs.

Under the Agricultural Land component, NRCS may contribute up to 50 percent of the fair market value of the agricultural land easement.  Where NRCS determines that grasslands of special environmental significance will be protected, NRCS may contribute up to 75 percent of the fair market value of the agricultural land easement.

Although applications are accepted on a continuous basis, funding selections are typically made once a year. Visit your local NRCS office to find out how to apply or obtain the applications online. Contact Nina Bhattacharyya, (352) 338-9554 for information.

CHRONIC WASTING DISEASE IN DEER - FWC REQUESTS SAMPLES FROM HARVESTS
By Larry Perrin, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission
The FL Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) requests your assistance with increased monitoring for Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD). CWD is a fatal disease of white-tailed deer, and other ungulates (elk, moose, mule deer).  It is not contagious to humans. CWD was originally discovered in Colorado in 1980 and now occurs in 24 other states; the closest to FL being TX and AR to the west and VA and WV to the north.  Early detection is critical as this disease is extremely difficult to control, thus continuous monitoring is important.

FWC has been conducting CWD monitoring since 2001 with many of our samples coming from public wildlife management areas. We would now like to focus on obtaining samples from other public and private lands. It would be most beneficial if you would report any sick, injured, or dead deer (typically road-killed deer) to our CWD "hotline" at 866-293-9282. FWC will then make every effort to collect the necessary brain tissue and lymph nodes from these animals.

Also, if you, or any of your acquaintances, are deer hunters we would like to obtain samples from these animals as well. For hunter-killed bucks, the antlers and/or cape can be removed as normal without affecting the desired samples. If you are likely to harvest several deer (bucks or does) over the hunting season deer heads can be stored for 2 to 3 weeks if refrigerated and for an extended period if frozen.

The storage of heads from the same tract of land is beneficial as we can schedule a pickup that will be much more efficient than picking up individual deer heads. Again, you can call our hotline no. (866-293-9282) to arrange for pickups.  If you harvest deer from more than one area specific location information is needed for each deer since if a sample tests positive for CWD it will be essential that its location be known so that appropriate measures can be taken.

Your assistance is greatly appreciated. 


ONGOING SERVICES, INITIATIVES, PROGRAMS:
______________________________________________________________________

SOMETHING BUGGING YOUR TREES?
Do you have pests or a disease in your trees? Leaves or needles wilting, and you don’t know why? Sawdust falling out of your trees, and you don’t know how to save them? There is help: ask your question at the free Forest Health Diagnostic Forum: http://sfrc.ufl.edu/treehealth/forum/.

FOREST STEWARDSHIP VIDEOS  - VIEW AND SHARE!
All the latest videos are on the Florida Forest Stewardship Program home page:
http://sfrc.ufl.edu/forest_stewardship

GOT 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?


FWC REQUESTS REPORTS OF WILDLIFE SIGHTINGS:


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.blogger


UNIVERSITY OF GEORGIA CONTINUING FORESTRY EDUCATION CLASSES

See http://conted.warnell.uga.edu/ for the latest offerings.


ALABAMA COOPERATIVE EXTENSION FORESTRY WEBINARS

See http://www.aces.edu/natural-resources/forestry

Friday, February 3, 2017

Doing nothing? Not a Good Decision if You Want Bobwhite Quail


Doing nothing? Not a Good Decision if You Want Bobwhite Quail

By Arlo Kane, Regional Coordinator, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission
Landowner Assistance Program

 
Bobwhite quail are referred to as an “early successional” species. But what does that mean in the context of a longleaf pine ecosystem? Succession is an ecological progression from a community with only a few species of plants and animals to an increasingly more complex system ending in a climax stage. The longleaf pine forest represents the climax stage but one maintained by disturbance.  Fire is generally that disturbance, or in the absence of fire something else will replace the longleaf forest.  Historically the longleaf-wiregrass ecosystem was more of a savanna maintained by frequent fire.  Fire created the open pine savanna allowing grassland birds to thrive. Bobwhite quail, and species such as brown-headed nuthatch, Bachman’s sparrow, Southeastern American kestrel and grasshopper sparrow, are more abundant in these open pine-grassland habitats.

 
However bobwhite quail are somewhat unique in this group in that they spend most of their time on the ground, where they forage for seeds, greens and insects and fly only short distances and then only when necessary.  Bobwhite quail depend on the early weedy stage of succession. They also require open bare ground on which to forage for seeds and for chicks to be able to move around easily.  Where wiregrass is not an issue or pasture grasses like bahia and Bermuda have taken over, disking strips can be an effective way to set back succession and increase bare ground as well as promote the growth of weedy vegetation.  Grasses provide seeds for quail to eat, as well as nesting material, and weeds also provide seeds and attract insects. Insects are the key protein source that breeding hens and young chicks need for nutrition. Fire is also an important practice to set back succession, and habitats that go longer than three years without fire can become too thick with understory vegetation for quail to thrive.  Depending on the habitat, quail prefer a one to two year burning frequency -- which also helps reduce the risk of wildfires on your property.

 
But what if you have an existing pine stand, longleaf or otherwise, planted at a high density?  Can anything be done to benefit bobwhite quail in that scenario? Well, bobwhite quail are not a forest bird. While you may see them sometimes along the edge of a dense forest, they will not be numerous and they will not be found within a dense forest. Generally the only forests where you will find populations of quail are those with a low density of pines. We define how dense a forest is by looking at the basal area. That is the area occupied by a tree if you were to cut it at about 4.5 feet above the ground and determine the surface area of the stump. Then figure that out for all the trees on an acre and add them up.  Fortunately we can quickly estimate that by use of a prism.  A forest with a lower number of trees and more open structure suitable for quail should have a basal area of 30-50 ft2.  Forests with a basal area of 50-70 ft2 would still be suitable but once you have a basal area above that you are too dense to really support bobwhite quail.  At that point you really need to look at thinning your pines to at least a basal area of 50 ft2.

 
So what can you do to manage bobwhite quail in a longleaf pine ecosystem? First, do something. Doing nothing will lead to later stages of succession that will change the habitat from one beneficial to quail to one beneficial to other species. Second, burn on a frequent basis. In most habitats, you can burn on a one to two year rotation. In productive habitats, you start to lose quail habitat at about three years. The exception would be sandhills habitat, where you may not be able to burn more than once every five years due to a lack of fuel.  Third, if your timber is too dense, and the time is right, consider thinning to a 50 or 60 basal area. Fourth, if you do not have wiregrass you may want to consider disking strips to increase bare ground and stimulate the growth of weedy vegetation. Fifth, along agricultural and forest borders consider putting in a field border of grasses and herbaceous flowering plants (such as indian grass, little bluestem, broomsedge, and partridge pea) to create a feathered edge effect. Quail are most abundant in these edge habitats.


Bobwhites have experienced an 82 percent population decline in Florida since 1966. Much of that decline is associated with millions of acres of open pine savannas being converted to high density commercial pine plantations that provide no bobwhite habitat. Combine that with a lack of frequent prescribed burning and an increase in mid-story hardwoods, and you have a recipe for bobwhite disaster. Magazine articles often rail against hawks, coyotes, fire ants, herbicides, pesticides or any other predator or practice they can point the finger at to say they are the cause. But I think the loss of our once diverse tenant farms and conversion of those farms to dense commercial pine plantations or large monoculture farms, combined with a lack of frequent fire, is probably closer to the truth.  Not that predators don’t play a role, but I just don’t think they are the major factor in any decline. I worked for a time in south Texas where we had lots of fire ants, coyotes, hawks and any other predator you can think of.  But I saw a rancher apply some very good habitat management techniques to open up the understory and produce three birds per acre.  That’s three times as many quail as was once thought to be the maximum density you could produce. Good habitat management that focuses on prescribed burning, thinning, bush management, hedge rows, field border, and mechanical disturbance will go a long way to helping recover bobwhite quail in the southeastern U.S.

 
When thinking about managing for bobwhite quail, it’s not always about planting longleaf, it’s more about managing existing longleaf pine forests, rangelands and agricultural lands. USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service has created the Working Lands For Wildlife – Northern Bobwhite Project to help landowners who want to create or manage existing habitat for bobwhite quail. Financial assistance is available to eligible landowners to implement practices such as prescribed burning, thinning, brush management, hedgerows and field borders.

 
Want to help restore bobwhite quail to the Southeast? Contact your local NRCS District Conservationist or a Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission Landowner Assistance Program biologist for more information. You can meet north Florida landowners restoring longleaf pine habitat who are starting to see bobwhite quail as a result in the video, Private Landowners Conserving Florida Wildlife.

 

You can reach Arlo Kane with questions at 850-767-3616.

 


Thursday, February 2, 2017

FLORIDA LAND STEWARD UPDATE 2/3/17

TIMBER TAX WEBINARS COMING UP
Timber Tax Webinars on February 17 and March 3, 2017: Dr. Linda Wang, National Timber Tax Specialist, USDA Forest Service, will present 2 webinars providing the latest tax info, filing season updates, practical tax tips on how to report timber sale, what timber-related expenses and losses can be deducted, who is responsible for filing 1099 on timber sales, and the IRS rules on record keeping and substantiating expenses. See links below for details:

February 17, 2017, Forestry Webinar: Timber Tax Filing for the 2016 Tax Year (link), 1 pm ET.

March 3, 2017, American Forest Foundation Webinar: Timber Tax Filing for the 2016 Tax Year (link)
, 1 pm ET.

Dr. Linda Wang's annual Timber Tax Tips publication and other related resources are available at the National Timber Tax website: http://www.timbertax.org/.

DOWNLOAD THE GOPHER TORTOISE SMARTPHONE APP
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission needs your help documenting where gopher tortoises live. You can help by downloading and using the “Florida Gopher Tortoise” smartphone application (app). With this app, you can record the location of gopher tortoises you may see in your yard, neighborhood, or crossing the road. This information will help FWC biologists better understand where populations of gopher tortoises live. more info here: http://myfwc.com/wildlifehabitats/managed/gopher-tortoise/app/

FUNDING HELPS FLORIDA AGRICULTURAL PRODUCERS IMPROVE WORKING LANDS
Application Deadline Today - February 3 - for Conservation Stewardship Program
Agricultural producers can sign up for funding now until February 3 available through USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP).

Agricultural producers and forest landowners can earn incentive payments from CSP for expanding conservation activities on their land, such as cover crops, ecologically-based pest management, buffer strips, and pollinator and beneficial insect habitat.  CSP encourages the adoption of cutting-edge technologies and new approaches such as precision agriculture applications, on-site carbon storage and planting for high carbon sequestration rate, and new soil amendments to improve water quality. The program also offers bundles, where a producer can select a suite of enhancements to implement and receive an even higher payment rate. All CSP contracts will have a minimum annual payment of $1,500.

Information about CSP, including national and state ranking questions and enhancement descriptions, is available on the national website or visit your local NRCS field office.

FUNDING HELPS RANCHERS CONSERVE FLORIDA PANTHER HABITAT
Ranchers in southwest Florida may be able to get paid for helping the Florida panther. To be eligible, a producer’s operation must be in northeastern Collier County or southwestern Hendry County—an area identified as essential for the long-term viability of the panther population. Federal, state and nonprofits have partnered to provide a suite of technical services and financial assistance to ranchers, from building fencing and treating invasive plants to compensating ranchers for loss of their cattle from panthers.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) will coordinate assistance to ranchers available through the various agencies. The USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) will provide technical and financial assistance for conservation practices through its Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP). The signup deadline to apply for that program is Feb. 3, 2017.

To find out how to participate contact Jennifer Korn at FWC, 813-417-6165 or Erin Myers at USFWS, 239-657-8009. At NRCS in Hendry County contact District Conservationist Jim Sutter, (863) 674-5700, and in Collier County District Conservationist Bob Beck, 239-455-4100.

SIGN UP FOR AGRICULTURAL LAND EASEMENTS
The application deadline is February 24 for fiscal year 2017 funding.
NRCS provides financial assistance to partners for purchasing Agricultural Land Easements that protect the use and conservation values of eligible land. In the case of working farms, the program helps farmers and ranchers keep their land in agriculture. The program also protects grazing uses and related conservation values by conserving grassland, including rangeland, pastureland and shrubland.  Eligible partners include Indian tribes, state and local governments and non-governmental organizations that have farmland or grassland protection programs.

Under the Agricultural Land component, NRCS may contribute up to 50 percent of the fair market value of the agricultural land easement.  Where NRCS determines that grasslands of special environmental significance will be protected, NRCS may contribute up to 75 percent of the fair market value of the agricultural land easement.

Although applications are accepted on a continuous basis, funding selections are typically made once a year. Visit your local NRCS office to find out how to apply or obtain the applications online. Contact Nina Bhattacharyya, (352) 338-9554 for information.

CHRONIC WASTING DISEASE IN DEER - FWC REQUESTS SAMPLES FROM HARVESTS
By Larry Perrin, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission
The FL Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) requests your assistance with increased monitoring for Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD). CWD is a fatal disease of white-tailed deer, and other ungulates (elk, moose, mule deer).  It is not contagious to humans. CWD was originally discovered in Colorado in 1980 and now occurs in 24 other states; the closest to FL being TX and AR to the west and VA and WV to the north.  Early detection is critical as this disease is extremely difficult to control, thus continuous monitoring is important.

FWC has been conducting CWD monitoring since 2001 with many of our samples coming from public wildlife management areas. We would now like to focus on obtaining samples from other public and private lands. It would be most beneficial if you would report any sick, injured, or dead deer (typically road-killed deer) to our CWD "hotline" at 866-293-9282. FWC will then make every effort to collect the necessary brain tissue and lymph nodes from these animals.
Also, if you, or any of your acquaintances, are deer hunters we would like to obtain samples from these animals as well. For hunter-killed bucks, the antlers and/or cape can be removed as normal without affecting the desired samples. If you are likely to harvest several deer (bucks or does) over the hunting season deer heads can be stored for 2 to 3 weeks if refrigerated and for an extended period if frozen.

The storage of heads from the same tract of land is beneficial as we can schedule a pickup that will be much more efficient than picking up individual deer heads. Again, you can call our hotline no. (866-293-9282) to arrange for pickups.  If you harvest deer from more than one area specific location information is needed for each deer since if a sample tests positive for CWD it will be essential that its location be known so that appropriate measures can be taken.

Your assistance is greatly appreciated. 


ONGOING SERVICES, INITIATIVES, PROGRAMS:
______________________________________________________________________

SOMETHING BUGGING YOUR TREES?
Do you have pests or a disease in your trees? Leaves or needles wilting, and you don’t know why? Sawdust falling out of your trees, and you don’t know how to save them? There is help: ask your question at the free Forest Health Diagnostic Forum: http://sfrc.ufl.edu/treehealth/forum/.

FOREST STEWARDSHIP VIDEOS  - VIEW AND SHARE!
All the latest videos are on the Florida Forest Stewardship Program home page:
http://sfrc.ufl.edu/forest_stewardship

GOT 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?


FWC REQUESTS REPORTS OF WILDLIFE SIGHTINGS:


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.blogger


UNIVERSITY OF GEORGIA CONTINUING FORESTRY EDUCATION CLASSES

See http://conted.warnell.uga.edu/ for the latest offerings.


ALABAMA COOPERATIVE EXTENSION FORESTRY WEBINARS

See http://www.aces.edu/natural-resources/forestry

Friday, January 27, 2017

FLORIDA LAND STEWARD UPDATE 1/27/17

UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA STUDY FINDS THAT VOTERS IN THE EASTERN U.S. ARE SUPPORTIVE OF FOREST AND WATER CONSERVATION
According to a recent University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences study, voters are likely to approve referenda for forest and water conservation in the eastern United States, including Florida, because demand for ecosystem protection is increasing. “Florida voters have approved far more referenda, compared to other states, and on average support more expensive conservation programs,” said Melissa Kreye, a post-doctoral researcher in the UF/IFAS School of Forest Resources and Conservation and a study author.

Read more at: http://news.ifas.ufl.edu/2017/01/ufifas-study-voters-want-to-preserve-forests-water/

2016 TAX TIPS FOR FOREST LANDOWNERS
Dr. Linda Wang, National Timber Tax Specialist, USDA Forest Service, has prepared her annual Timber Tax Tips publication. It and other related resources are available at the National Timber Tax website: http://www.timbertax.org/.

FUNDING HELPS FLORIDA AGRICULTURAL PRODUCERS IMPROVE WORKING LANDS
Application Deadline February 3 for Conservation Stewardship Program
Agricultural producers can sign up for funding now until February 3 available through USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP).

Agricultural producers and forest landowners can earn incentive payments from CSP for expanding conservation activities on their land, such as cover crops, ecologically-based pest management, buffer strips, and pollinator and beneficial insect habitat.  CSP encourages the adoption of cutting-edge technologies and new approaches such as precision agriculture applications, on-site carbon storage and planting for high carbon sequestration rate, and new soil amendments to improve water quality. The program also offers bundles, where a producer can select a suite of enhancements to implement and receive an even higher payment rate. All CSP contracts will have a minimum annual payment of $1,500.

Information about CSP, including national and state ranking questions and enhancement descriptions, is available on the national website or visit your local NRCS field office.

FUNDING HELPS RANCHERS CONSERVE FLORIDA PANTHER HABITAT
Ranchers in southwest Florida may be able to get paid for helping the Florida panther. To be eligible, a producer’s operation must be in northeastern Collier County or southwestern Hendry County—an area identified as essential for the long-term viability of the panther population. Federal, state and nonprofits have partnered to provide a suite of technical services and financial assistance to ranchers, from building fencing and treating invasive plants to compensating ranchers for loss of their cattle from panthers.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) will coordinate assistance to ranchers available through the various agencies. The USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) will provide technical and financial assistance for conservation practices through its Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP). The signup deadline to apply for that program is Feb. 3, 2017.

To find out how to participate contact Jennifer Korn at FWC, 813-417-6165 or Erin Myers at USFWS, 239-657-8009. At NRCS in Hendry County contact District Conservationist Jim Sutter, (863) 674-5700, and in Collier County District Conservationist Bob Beck, 239-455-4100.

SIGN UP FOR AGRICULTURAL LAND EASEMENTS
The application deadline is February 24 for fiscal year 2017 funding.
NRCS provides financial assistance to partners for purchasing Agricultural Land Easements that protect the use and conservation values of eligible land. In the case of working farms, the program helps farmers and ranchers keep their land in agriculture. The program also protects grazing uses and related conservation values by conserving grassland, including rangeland, pastureland and shrubland.  Eligible partners include Indian tribes, state and local governments and non-governmental organizations that have farmland or grassland protection programs.

Under the Agricultural Land component, NRCS may contribute up to 50 percent of the fair market value of the agricultural land easement.  Where NRCS determines that grasslands of special environmental significance will be protected, NRCS may contribute up to 75 percent of the fair market value of the agricultural land easement.

Although applications are accepted on a continuous basis, funding selections are typically made once a year. Visit your local NRCS office to find out how to apply or obtain the applications online. Contact Nina Bhattacharyya, (352) 338-9554 for information.

CHRONIC WASTING DISEASE IN DEER - FWC REQUESTS SAMPLES FROM HARVESTS
By Larry Perrin, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission
The FL Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) requests your assistance with increased monitoring for Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD). CWD is a fatal disease of white-tailed deer, and other ungulates (elk, moose, mule deer).  It is not contagious to humans. CWD was originally discovered in Colorado in 1980 and now occurs in 24 other states; the closest to FL being TX and AR to the west and VA and WV to the north.  Early detection is critical as this disease is extremely difficult to control, thus continuous monitoring is important.

FWC has been conducting CWD monitoring since 2001 with many of our samples coming from public wildlife management areas. We would now like to focus on obtaining samples from other public and private lands. It would be most beneficial if you would report any sick, injured, or dead deer (typically road-killed deer) to our CWD "hotline" at 866-293-9282. FWC will then make every effort to collect the necessary brain tissue and lymph nodes from these animals.
Also, if you, or any of your acquaintances, are deer hunters we would like to obtain samples from these animals as well. For hunter-killed bucks, the antlers and/or cape can be removed as normal without affecting the desired samples. If you are likely to harvest several deer (bucks or does) over the hunting season deer heads can be stored for 2 to 3 weeks if refrigerated and for an extended period if frozen.

The storage of heads from the same tract of land is beneficial as we can schedule a pickup that will be much more efficient than picking up individual deer heads. Again, you can call our hotline no. (866-293-9282) to arrange for pickups.  If you harvest deer from more than one area specific location information is needed for each deer since if a sample tests positive for CWD it will be essential that its location be known so that appropriate measures can be taken.

Your assistance is greatly appreciated. 


ONGOING SERVICES, INITIATIVES, PROGRAMS:
______________________________________________________________________

SOMETHING BUGGING YOUR TREES?
Do you have pests or a disease in your trees? Leaves or needles wilting, and you don’t know why? Sawdust falling out of your trees, and you don’t know how to save them? There is help: ask your question at the free Forest Health Diagnostic Forum: http://sfrc.ufl.edu/treehealth/forum/.

FOREST STEWARDSHIP VIDEOS  - VIEW AND SHARE!
All the latest videos are on the Florida Forest Stewardship Program home page:
http://sfrc.ufl.edu/forest_stewardship

GOT 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?


FWC REQUESTS REPORTS OF WILDLIFE SIGHTINGS:


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.blogger


UNIVERSITY OF GEORGIA CONTINUING FORESTRY EDUCATION CLASSES

See http://conted.warnell.uga.edu/ for the latest offerings.


ALABAMA COOPERATIVE EXTENSION FORESTRY WEBINARS

See http://www.aces.edu/natural-resources/forestry

Friday, January 20, 2017

FLORIDA LAND STEWARD UPDATE 1/20/17

NEW UF/IFAS EXTENSION WATER PROGRAMS WEBSITE
Enhancing and protecting water quality, water quantity, and water supply are high-priorities of the UF/IFAS Cooperative Extension Service. The purpose of this website is to provide easy access to water-related information and programs of the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS). Check it out at http://water.ifas.ufl.edu/

WEBINAR SERIES ON CONSERVING IRRIGATION WATER STARTS JANUARY 24
This series of six webinars is hosted by the UF/IFAS Center for Public Issues Education, and presented by the Clean WateR3 (http://cleanwater3.org/default.asp) multi-state university research team.

Clean WateR3 is a federally funded Specialty Crops Research Initiative grant focused on research and outreach to help growers Reduce, Remediate and Recycle irrigation water. The grant team is managed by Dr. Sarah White at Clemson University and includes many research collaborators, including the University of Florida.

These free webinars will be 45 minutes long at 12 noon ET on consecutive Tuesdays, beginning on January 24.

2016 TAX TIPS FOR FOREST LANDOWNERS
Dr. Linda Wang, National Timber Tax Specialist, USDA Forest Service, has prepared her annual Timber Tax Tips publication. It and other related resources are available at the National Timber Tax website: http://www.timbertax.org/.

FUNDING HELPS FLORIDA AGRICULTURAL PRODUCERS IMPROVE WORKING LANDS
Application Deadline February 3 for Conservation Stewardship Program
Agricultural producers can sign up for funding now until February 3 available through USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP).

Agricultural producers and forest landowners can earn incentive payments from CSP for expanding conservation activities on their land, such as cover crops, ecologically-based pest management, buffer strips, and pollinator and beneficial insect habitat.  CSP encourages the adoption of cutting-edge technologies and new approaches such as precision agriculture applications, on-site carbon storage and planting for high carbon sequestration rate, and new soil amendments to improve water quality. The program also offers bundles, where a producer can select a suite of enhancements to implement and receive an even higher payment rate. All CSP contracts will have a minimum annual payment of $1,500.

Information about CSP, including national and state ranking questions and enhancement descriptions, is available on the national website or visit your local NRCS field office.

FUNDING HELPS RANCHERS CONSERVE FLORIDA PANTHER HABITAT
Ranchers in southwest Florida may be able to get paid for helping the Florida panther. To be eligible, a producer’s operation must be in northeastern Collier County or southwestern Hendry County—an area identified as essential for the long-term viability of the panther population. Federal, state and nonprofits have partnered to provide a suite of technical services and financial assistance to ranchers, from building fencing and treating invasive plants to compensating ranchers for loss of their cattle from panthers.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) will coordinate assistance to ranchers available through the various agencies. The USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) will provide technical and financial assistance for conservation practices through its Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP). The signup deadline to apply for that program is Feb. 3, 2017.

To find out how to participate contact Jennifer Korn at FWC, 813-417-6165 or Erin Myers at USFWS, 239-657-8009. At NRCS in Hendry County contact District Conservationist Jim Sutter, (863) 674-5700, and in Collier County District Conservationist Bob Beck, 239-455-4100.

SIGN UP FOR AGRICULTURAL LAND EASEMENTS
The application deadline is February 24 for fiscal year 2017 funding.
NRCS provides financial assistance to partners for purchasing Agricultural Land Easements that protect the use and conservation values of eligible land. In the case of working farms, the program helps farmers and ranchers keep their land in agriculture. The program also protects grazing uses and related conservation values by conserving grassland, including rangeland, pastureland and shrubland.  Eligible partners include Indian tribes, state and local governments and non-governmental organizations that have farmland or grassland protection programs.

Under the Agricultural Land component, NRCS may contribute up to 50 percent of the fair market value of the agricultural land easement.  Where NRCS determines that grasslands of special environmental significance will be protected, NRCS may contribute up to 75 percent of the fair market value of the agricultural land easement.

Although applications are accepted on a continuous basis, funding selections are typically made once a year. Visit your local NRCS office to find out how to apply or obtain the applications online. Contact Nina Bhattacharyya, (352) 338-9554 for information.

CHRONIC WASTING DISEASE IN DEER - FWC REQUESTS SAMPLES FROM HARVESTS
By Larry Perrin, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission
The FL Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) requests your assistance with increased monitoring for Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD). CWD is a fatal disease of white-tailed deer, and other ungulates (elk, moose, mule deer).  It is not contagious to humans. CWD was originally discovered in Colorado in 1980 and now occurs in 24 other states; the closest to FL being TX and AR to the west and VA and WV to the north.  Early detection is critical as this disease is extremely difficult to control, thus continuous monitoring is important.

FWC has been conducting CWD monitoring since 2001 with many of our samples coming from public wildlife management areas. We would now like to focus on obtaining samples from other public and private lands. It would be most beneficial if you would report any sick, injured, or dead deer (typically road-killed deer) to our CWD "hotline" at 866-293-9282. FWC will then make every effort to collect the necessary brain tissue and lymph nodes from these animals.
Also, if you, or any of your acquaintances, are deer hunters we would like to obtain samples from these animals as well. For hunter-killed bucks, the antlers and/or cape can be removed as normal without affecting the desired samples. If you are likely to harvest several deer (bucks or does) over the hunting season deer heads can be stored for 2 to 3 weeks if refrigerated and for an extended period if frozen.

The storage of heads from the same tract of land is beneficial as we can schedule a pickup that will be much more efficient than picking up individual deer heads. Again, you can call our hotline no. (866-293-9282) to arrange for pickups.  If you harvest deer from more than one area specific location information is needed for each deer since if a sample tests positive for CWD it will be essential that its location be known so that appropriate measures can be taken.

Your assistance is greatly appreciated. 


ONGOING SERVICES, INITIATIVES, PROGRAMS:
______________________________________________________________________

SOMETHING BUGGING YOUR TREES?
Do you have pests or a disease in your trees? Leaves or needles wilting, and you don’t know why? Sawdust falling out of your trees, and you don’t know how to save them? There is help: ask your question at the free Forest Health Diagnostic Forum: http://sfrc.ufl.edu/treehealth/forum/.

FOREST STEWARDSHIP VIDEOS  - VIEW AND SHARE!
All the latest videos are on the Florida Forest Stewardship Program home page:
http://sfrc.ufl.edu/forest_stewardship

GOT 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?


FWC REQUESTS REPORTS OF WILDLIFE SIGHTINGS:


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.blogger


UNIVERSITY OF GEORGIA CONTINUING FORESTRY EDUCATION CLASSES

See http://conted.warnell.uga.edu/ for the latest offerings.


ALABAMA COOPERATIVE EXTENSION FORESTRY WEBINARS

See http://www.aces.edu/natural-resources/forestry