Thursday, September 13, 2018

FLORIDA LAND STEWARD UPDATE 9/14/18


NEW FAMILY FORESTS BOOK NOW AVAILABLE AT THE UF/IFAS BOOKSTORE
Hot off the presses: Family Forests – Portraits of Private Land Stewardship in Florida by Chris Demers, UF/IFAS School of Forest Resources and Conservation. This full-color publication puts a face on private forest stewardship in our great state, and provides ample references and resources that can assist with land management efforts. 

Now available online:
http://ifasbooks.ifas.ufl.edu/p-1433-family-forests.aspx



SOUTHERN FIRE EXCHANGE JULY / AUGUST 2018 FIRE LINES NEWSLETTER AVAILABLE
In this issue: Human ignitions are responsible for the majority of large wildfires in the East and West, SFE releases two new factsheets, Forest landowners get experience in prescribed fire, Get certified as a Wildland Fire Professional by AFE, Learn about new fire science publications relevant to the South

Current and back issues of Fire Lines available at:
http://southernfireexchange.org/SFE_Publications/Newsletter.html




ENHANCE YOUR COMMUNITY OUTREACH WITH PROJECT LEARNING TREE TRAINING
Are you interested in community outreach? Project Learning Tree (PLT) and forest landowners are working together to educate Floridians about healthy forests and sustainable forestry practices. Attend the PLT: Connecting Forests With People training at Austin Cary Forest in Gainesville Saturday, September 29, 2018.  Join the fun and enhance your existing community outreach and learn how to provide fun, informative activities for both youth and adults. Let PLT help you educate those in your community about working forests!

PLT is a program of the Sustainable Forestry Initiative. This workshop is funded in part from an ee360 grant, support from the University of Florida IFAS School of Forest Resources and Conservation and with a donation from the Florida Tree Farm Program.


CONGRATULATIONS DOUG AND TERESA MOORE: 2018 FLORIDA OUTSTANDING TREE FARMERS OF YEAR
South Prong Plantation is located at the headwaters of the South Prong of the St. Mary’s River in Baker County. Doug Moore, South Prong owner and manager, purchased this timberland in 2002 because it was close to their farm in Duval County, and most of all, because the property was diverse. South Prong Plantation encompasses over 2,400 acres of pine flatwoods, cypress swamps and hydric hammock that is home to a wide variety of wildlife. While Doug and Teresa'’s primary objective is managing for high-quality wildlife habitat, the plantation also produces timber and is a great example of integrating timber and wildlife habitat management, and prescribed fire is an important tool here.

Join us for the 2018 Florida Outstanding Florida Tree Farm of the Year Tour and Awards Ceremony (link), 9:00 am for the morning tour, lunch, and awards ceremony; 11:30 am for lunch, awards ceremony, and afternoon tour. Meet at Doug and Teresa Moore’s South Prong Plantation in Baker County, FL. Free, lunch included. This event is free but pre-registration is required. Reserve a space for the morning or afternoon tour by calling Whitney at the Florida Forestry Association, (850) 222-5646. Please register by October 9. See link above for more details.




PRESCRIBED BURN ASSISTANCE AVAILABLE FROM WILDLAND RESTORATION INTERNATIONAL
Assistance available to landowners in the counties of Levy, Alachua, Putnam, Marion, Flagler, Volusia, Lake, Sumter, Hernando, Polk, Osceola, Manatee, Hardee, and Highlands. 

Wildland Restoration International (WRI) is excited to announce prescribed burn assistance to landowners participating in USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) cost share programs. WRI is a non-profit organization whose mission is to help manage wildland fire for the benefit of people and wildlife.  With three offices throughout the Florida peninsula, WRI has been assisting local landowners, public agencies, and other organizations with prescribed burning for several years. The organization has been awarded funding from the Endowment for Forestry and Communities to help landowners implement prescribed burning practices funded by the NRCS. WRI representatives are available to meet onsite with landowners to discuss their goals and assist with prescribed burn prescription and implementation.

WRI is also interested in providing educational workshops for landowners interested in learning more about prescribed burning topics. They also want to encourage the formation of landowner associations or cooperatives to help landowners work together to facilitate the safe and effective use of prescribed fire on their lands.

WRI is funded to assist landowners in the counties of Levy, Alachua, Putnam, Marion, Flagler, Volusia, Lake, Sumter, Hernando, Polk, Osceola, Manatee, Hardee, and Highlands. Landowners in these counties, with a NRCS contract that includes prescribed burning, are encouraged to contact WRI to learn more about these services:

Ryan Kennelly, Fire Program Coordinator
Phone: (352) 373-0550



SAW PALMETTO ADDED TO FDACS COMMERCIALLY EXPLOITED PLANT LISTING
The saw palmetto has been added to the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services' (DACS) commercially exploited plant list, which results in new requirements for the harvesting of saw palmetto berries. These new requirements took effect July 17, 2018. 




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/

If you have any questions regarding the program, please call Rylee Daddio at 352-231-7116



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.



FLORIDA LAND STEWARD PARTNERS WEB MAP TOOL
Use this web tool to identify resources at a local watershed scale: 




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 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







ONGOING INITIATIVES / SERVICES / OPPORTUNTIES
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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:

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?

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.


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