A study by the University of Florida’s Food and Resource Economics Department found Florida’s agriculture, natural resources and related food industries provided a $104 billion impact on the state in 2011. These industries accounted for employment of just under 2 million full- and part-time workers in 2011, including indirect jobs in related sectors. This represents 20 percent of all jobs in the state. Full report available at: http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/pdffiles/FE/FE93500.pdf
NEW LAW LEVELS THE PLAYING FIELD FOR FLORIDA TIMBER
Florida House Bill 269 revised a 2008 state law that mandated that the Florida Department of Management Services follow the U.S. Green Building Council's LEED standards in state office buildings. LEED standards incentivize using timber certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC). The issue with this provision is that there are very acres of timberland in Florida certified under FSC Standards. As a result, most Florida tree farmers and forest products businesses were excluded from LEED projects.
HB 269 allows government agencies to institute any type of building code or sustainable rating system they choose — as long they treat Florida wood products equally, and provided they are equal in quality and price. In practice, this means that timber recognized by all credible certification programs will be eligible to enter publicly financed construction projects in Florida. Wood certified by the American Tree Farm System (ATFS), Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) and the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) is all on an equal footing.
RURAL AND FAMILY LANDS PROTECTION PROGRAM
Florida’s agricultural land owners are encouraged to consider applying for the Rural and Family Lands Protection Program. The goal of the program is to acquire perpetual agricultural conservation easements that ensure lands will be preserved in agricultural use while providing for the protection of natural resources. The program will be receiving easement applications from July 15 - August 29. For information about the Rural and Family Lands Protection Program visit: http://www.floridaforestservice.com/rural_lands/index.html
SOUTHERN PINE BEETLE ASSSITANCE PROGRAM ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS
Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services’ Florida Forest Service have announced that the Southern Pine Beetle Assistance and Prevention Program will accept applications from non-industrial, private forest landowners from through July 31. The southern pine beetle is one of the most destructive forest pests in the southeast, and periodic outbreaks can rapidly kill millions of pine trees on tens of thousands of acres. The program, supported through a grant by the U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service, offers an incentive payment for landowners who conduct a first pulpwood thinning and partial cost reimbursement for prescribed burning, mechanical underbrush treatments and planting longleaf or slash pine. Since it was first offered in 2005, the program has supported these practices on more than 120,000 acres. The program is limited to 44 northern Florida counties located within the range of the southern pine beetle. Qualified landowners may apply for no more than two approved practices per year. Funding requests may not exceed $10,000. All qualifying applications received during the submission period will be evaluated and ranked for approval. To obtain application forms and more information on program requirements and procedures, visit a local Florida Forest Service office or visit the Southern Pine Beetle Assistance Program web page.
BARK & AMBROSIA BEETLE ACADEMY COMING IN MAY 2014
The Forest Entomology Lab at the University of Florida is pleased to invite you to a comprehensive workshop on bark and ambrosia beetles in May 2014.
- Are you a landowner or a naturalist interested in bark and ambrosia beetles?
- A forester in charge of pests?
- An extension agent with clients in forestry and natural resources?
- A researcher with beetle-related projects?
FWC REQUESTS REPORTS OF PANTHER, CHIPMUNK, and MINK SIGHTINGS
Report chipmunk sightings here: https://public.myfwc.com/hsc/chipmunk/getlatlong.aspx
Report panther sightings here: https://public.myfwc.com/hsc/PantherSightings/getlatlong.aspx
Report mink sightings here: https://public.myfwc.com/hsc/mink/getlatlong.aspx
COYOTES VS BOBCATS: WHAT ARE THEY EATING?
Over the next 3 years (2012-2014), the University of Florida will be conducting a study of coyote and bobcat diets in Florida. Of particular interest is the importance of popular wildlife species, including white-tailed deer, turkeys, and bobwhite quail, livestock, and pets in the diet of these predators. Diets will be determined by examining the stomach contents of coyotes and bobcats legally harvested or obtained in Florida. We are asking for your help in obtaining legally acquired coyote and bobcat carcasses, with or without pelts. We will also accept coyote and bobcat stomachs and intestines if you cannot store the whole carcass. If you have at least 5 animals that you would like to provide us, you can contact Lauren Watine (352-846-0558; firstname.lastname@example.org) or Bill Giuliano (352-846-0575; email@example.com) at the University of Florida to arrange for pickup. If you have fewer than 5 animals or are going to be coming through Gainesville, arrangements can be made to get carcasses from you at the University or combine your animals with others in your area for a pickup. Carcasses or stomachs and intestines should be frozen in a suitable bag or container, and include the name of contributor, animal sex, date harvested/obtained, and location harvested/obtained. We have obtained a permit from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission for this project, and will keep information provided by you for this project anonymous to the extent possible by law. We greatly appreciate your help with this valuable study!
FORESTRY AND NATURAL RESOURCES WEBINARS
For a calendar of upcoming webinars in a variety of land management topics see:
ONLINE EVENTS / EDUCATIONAL VIDEOS