Thursday, June 21, 2018

FLORIDA FOREST SERVICE ANNOUNCES LONGLEAF PINE PROGRAM FOR LANDOWNERS


Apply by July 13, 2018

The Florida Forest Service, a division of the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, announced today that the Longleaf Pine Landowner Incentive Program is now accepting applications from eligible, non-industrial private forest landowners. The application period is open Monday, June 4, through Friday, July 13, 2018.

The goal of the program is to increase the acreage of healthy longleaf pine ecosystems in Florida by helping non-industrial private forest landowners make the long-term investment required to establish and maintain this valuable ecosystem.  The program offers incentive payments for planting Longleaf pine, prescribed burning, native plant understory establishment, invasive species control, timber stand improvement, and mechanical underbrush treatments. The program is offered for private lands in Florida counties located west of the Aucilla River to the Choctawhatchee River, and several counties near the Ocala National Forest.

Application forms and more information on program requirements and procedures can be found by visiting FreshFromFlorida.com or by contacting your local County Forester. The program is supported through a grant from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation with funding from the Southern Company, USDA Forest Service, The Nature Conservancy, Natural Resource Conservation Service, U.S. Department of Defense, and the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.

The Florida Forest Service manages more than 1 million acres of state forests and provides forest management assistance on more than 17 million acres of private and community forests. The Florida Forest Service is also responsible for protecting homes, forestland and natural resources from the devastating effects of wildfire on more than 26 million acres.
To learn more about Florida Forest Service programs, visit FloridaForestService.com.

Friday, June 8, 2018

FLORIDA LAND STEWARD UPDATE 6/8/19


FLORIDA FOREST SERVICE ANNOUNCES LONGLEAF PINE PROGRAM FOR LANDOWNERS
Apply by July 13, 2018

The Florida Forest Service, a division of the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, announced today that the Longleaf Pine Landowner Incentive Program is now accepting applications from eligible, non-industrial private forest landowners. The application period is open Monday, June 4, through Friday, July 13, 2018.

The goal of the program is to increase the acreage of healthy longleaf pine ecosystems in Florida by helping non-industrial private forest landowners make the long-term investment required to establish and maintain this valuable ecosystem.  The program offers incentive payments for planting Longleaf pine, prescribed burning, native plant understory establishment, invasive species control, timber stand improvement, and mechanical underbrush treatments. The program is offered for private lands in Florida counties located west of the Aucilla River to the Choctawhatchee River, and several counties near the Ocala National Forest.

Application forms and more information on program requirements and procedures can be at FreshFromFlorida.com or by contacting your local County Forester. The program is supported through a grant from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation with funding from the Southern Company, USDA Forest Service, The Nature Conservancy, Natural Resource Conservation Service, U.S. Department of Defense, and the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.

The Florida Forest Service manages more than 1 million acres of state forests and provides forest management assistance on more than 17 million acres of private and community forests. The Florida Forest Service is also responsible for protecting homes, forestland and natural resources from the devastating effects of wildfire on more than 26 million acres.

To learn more about Florida Forest Service programs, visit FloridaForestService.com.


FLORIDA FOREST SERVICE ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS TO HELP LANDOWNERS COMBAT SOUTHERN PINE BEETLE
Apply by June 29, 2018

To help combat the invasive Southern Pine Beetle, the Florida Forest Service is accepting applications for the 2018 Southern Pine Beetle Assistance and Prevention Program from non-industrial, private forest landowners through June 29, 2018.  The program is limited to 44 northern Florida counties, the known range of the southern pine beetle.

The Southern Pine Beetle Assistance and Prevention Program, supported through a grant by the United States Forest Service, provides incentive payments for landowners who conduct a first pulpwood thinning and offers partial cost reimbursement for activities, such as prescribed burning, mechanical underbrush treatments, and the planting of longleaf or slash pine rather than the loblolly pine, the beetle’s preferred species. Qualified landowners can apply for up to two different practices per year, and funding requests may not exceed $10,000. All qualifying applications received during the submission period will be evaluated and ranked for approval.

To obtain an application or to learn more about the Southern Pine Beetle Assistance and Prevention Program, visit FreshFromFlorida.com/SouthernPineBeetle/Prevention.



2017-2018 ORGANIC CERTIFICATION COST SHARE PROGRAM
Florida Organic Growers (FOG), in cooperation with Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, is pleased to announce the 2017-2018 Organic Certification Cost Share Program. Certified organic operators in Florida can now apply for reimbursement of up to 75 percent of certification costs from October 1, 2017 to September 30, 2018, for a maximum of $750 per scope of certification. The deadline to apply is October 31st.

Please visit the FOG Cost Share webpage to learn more about the program, and how you can apply: http://www.foginfo.org/our-programs/cost-share/


INTERACTIVE MAP SHOWS ECONOMIC CONTRIBUTIONS OF THE FOREST INDUSTRY AND FOREST-BASED RECREATION IN FLORIDA IN 2016

This UF/IFAS study analyzed the economic contributions of the forest industry and forest-based recreation activities to the state of Florida in 2016.




FLORIDA’S STATE WILDLIFE ACTION PLAN AVAILABLE FOR REVIEW
The Wildlife Action Plan is a comprehensive plan for conserving the state's wildlife and vital natural areas for future generations. It outlines Florida’s native Species of Greatest Conservation Need (SGCN), essential habitat types needed to support those species, and identifies a series of priority actions to help conserve SGCN. This is the second revision of the Action Plan since development in 2005 and, once approved, will be implemented through 2025, the next scheduled revision date.

The Action Plan will be available for public review until June 10th, 2018. For any questions regarding the State Wildlife Action Plan, contact Florida’s State Wildlife Action Plan Coordinator, Allie McCue at Allie.McCue@MyFWC.com.

The draft is available to download to your computer or device by using the link below.

Download Draft 2018 Action Plan
All comments, questions, and edits must be submitted online using the link below.
Link for Action Plan Review Form


CAMP KIDS IN THE WOODS AT THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA'S AUSTIN CARY FOREST
Is your middle school child looking for something to do outside this summer?  Consider Camp Kids in the Woods! Campers will conduct field explorations with scientists from forestry, wildlife, water resources, and entomology, and will take a journey to a local spring. Additionally, campers will go fishing, camp out one night at the Austin Cary Forest, participate in a service learning project, and engage in interactive games and scavenger hunts. Camp Kids in the Woods summer program is a collaborative effort between the University of Florida’s School of Forest Resources and Conservation and the USDA Forest Service.

When: Session 1: June 18-22, 2018; Session 2: July 16-20, 2018

Ages: Rising 7th graders to rising 9th graders

Hours: 8:30 am -4:30 pm ET. Early drop-offs and late pickups available to help fit your schedule.

Location: Austin Cary Forest, 10625 NE Waldo Rd, Gainesville, FL 32609

For more information and to register visit: http://sfrc.ufl.edu/outreach/camp-kids-in-the-woods/


AIR POTATO PATROL CITIZEN SCIENCE PROJECT
The Air Potato Patrol 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.



USE WEB MAP TOOL TO FIND RESOURCE INFORMATION AND ASSISTANCE AT THE WATERSHED SCALE
The Florida Land Steward Partnership continuously strives to provide better outreach and information on programs that can help landowners achieve their goals while improving the many environmental benefits they provide to society. To that end, the Partnership, in conjunction with the Peninsular Florida Landscape Conservation Cooperative (PFLCC), have launched a web-based map that allows landowners to identify specific programs available at the local level. The PFLCC website provides access to natural resource information, including an on-line, web tool that can be used to identify resources at a local watershed scale.


FAMILY HEIRS PROPERTY IN FLORIDA: "CLOUDY TITLES" PROGRAM BY FLORIDA A&M UNIVERSITY

In awareness of the continual loss of property by African Americans in rural communities due to complicated legal hurdles, FAMU Cooperative Extension Program office has created the Family Heirs Property Program Workshop Series. The series 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, and how families can clear the title of their family heirs property.


The course continues May 26 and August 28. Register here for the next Session.


FLORIDA TREE FARM PROGRAM PREPARING FOR 2019 AUDIT
The Florida Tree Farm Program is preparing for a 2019 audit. The purpose of the audit is to verify that certified Tree Farms are compliant with the 2015-2020 Standards of Sustainability. The Program has been audited twice since 2010 without any issues. A relatively small sample of Tree Farms will be selected for the audit. The audit team will visit selected Tree Farms to review the landowners' management plans and conduct a brief interview. The inspector of the property and a Florida Tree Farm representative will accompany the auditor. We will begin the audit process in January 2019. Selected sample Tree Farm landowners will receive a phone call in early January 2019.

The Florida Tree Farm Program wants to make sure this audit goes well so it is extremely important for ALL certified Tree Farms in the state to have a current written management plan. Current means updated in the last 5 years. Contact your Florida Forest Service County Forester, consultant, or your Tree Farm District Representative if you need an update to your management plan, or if you have not been inspected since 2014

Find your County Forester here.
Find your Tree Farm District Representative here.



ONGOING INITIATIVES / OPPORTUNTIES
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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:

NEED A LOAN TO FUND CONSERVATION PROJECTS? CHECK OUT THE USDA FARM SERVICE AGENCY'S GUARANTEED CONSERVATION LOAN PROGRAMThe 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

SOMETHING BUGGING YOUR TREES? - CHECK OUT THE NEW 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 your 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:
FOREST STEWARDSHIP VIDEOS - VIEW AND SHARE!
All the latest videos are on the Florida Forest Stewardship Program home page:
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
FORESTRY AND NATURAL RESOURCES WEBINARS
For a calendar of upcoming webinars in a variety of land management topics see:
SOUTHERN REGION EXTENSION FORESTRY
See http://sref.info/ for the latest news, tools and offerings.