Now is the time for farmers, ranchers and other agricultural producers to visit their local USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) office to receive more information and apply for conservation technical assistance and possible funding opportunities. NRCS offices across the country, including those in Florida, are resuming work with farmers and ranchers to implement conservation activities. All offices are open and are working to address the backlog of requests expediently.
“If you are interested in conservation assistance you should visit with our staff as soon as possible,” said Assistant State Conservationist for Financial Programs, Jeffrey Woods. “Our agency is able to proceed with implementation of several conservation programs, including the Environmental Quality Incentives Program and the Conservation Stewardship Program.”
Florida NRCS has established November 15, 2013, as the application cutoff date for consideration for Federal Fiscal Year 2014 funds for these two programs.
The Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) is a conservation program that provides financial and technical assistance to farmers and ranchers who face threats to soil, water, air, and related natural resources on their land. Through EQIP, NRCS develops contracts with agricultural producers to voluntarily implement conservation practices. Persons engaged in livestock or agricultural production and owners of non-industrial private forestland are eligible for the program.
The Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) is available on Tribal and private agricultural lands and non-industrial private forest land. CSP encourages producers to address resource concerns in a comprehensive manner by undertaking additional conservation activities; and improving, maintaining, and managing existing conservation activities.
Applications received after November 15th will be considered for future funding periods.
Authority to enroll acres in several other programs, including the Wetlands Reserve Program (WRP), expired on September 30, 2013, due to the expiration of the Farm Bill. Additional information on NRCS, conservation assistance, and programs is available on its website at www.fl.nrcs.usda.gov or at your local USDA - NRCS office. To find the nearest office go to your telephone directory under “U. S. Government, Department of Agriculture”, or http://offices.sc.egov.usda.gov/locator/app.
TIME TO THIN VIDEO ON YOUTUBE
Not your usual instructional video- check it out! In a little over two minutes, explains why thinning is important and how to get started, with a live link to more information. Check it out:
2013 TIMBER TAX TIPS AVAILABLE
Tax Tips for Forest Landowners for the 2013 Tax Year is now available. This annual bulletin provides federal income tax reporting tips to assist forest landowners and their advisors in filing their 2013 income tax returns. The information presented is current as of Sept. 15, 2013: http://www.fs.fed.us/spf/coop/programs/loa/tax.shtml
FORESTRY TAXATION VIDEOS ON YOUTUBE
The Forest Landowners Tax Council (The FLTC) has produced a couple educational programs about forestry related taxation. The latest is entitled “Taxation of Forestry Income.” These videos can be found at TheFLTC YouTube Channel:
EASTERN DIAMONDBACK RATTLESNAKES The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service was recently petitioned to list the eastern diamondback rattlesnake, historically found in the lower Coastal Plain from North Carolina to Louisiana, as a threatened or endangered species. As the Service reviews the status of the eastern diamondback, the National Council for Air and Stream Improvement (NCASI) is soliciting information about observations of the snake to improve understanding of its distribution and habitat associations. If you encounter an eastern diamondback rattlesnake, we would greatly appreciate your completing a short online survey here: http://www.ncasi.org/snakesurvey.aspx
This webpage also contains links to photos and other information that will help survey respondents distinguish eastern diamondbacks from the timber rattlesnake. NCASI will remove any information that would identify individual respondents and/or landowners, as well as precise locations, before providing results to the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. For more information, please contact Dr. Ben Wigley at 864-656-0840 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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 new Forest Health Diagnostic Forum: http://sfrc.ufl.edu/treehealth/forum/.
Run by forest health specialists at the UF School of Forest Resources and Conservation, Department of Entomology and the Florida Forest Service, this is the fastest and the most accurate forest pest and disease diagnostics available in the State of Florida. It’s free, logging in is easy, and answers are almost instant. We are also happy to examine your samples, or visit your site for a minimal fee. We are here to protect your irreplaceable trees!
PUBLIC INVITED TO REVIEW FWC IMPERILED SPECIES ACTION PLANS
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) invites your feedback on the Imperiled Species Management Plan, which will be the blueprint for conserving 60 species on Florida’s Endangered and Threatened Species list. Be a part the process. See http://www.myfwc.com/Imperiled to learn more and participate.
HELP STILL NEEDED - COYOTES VS BOBCATS: WHAT ARE THEY EATING?
The University of Florida is conducting a study of coyote dietary habits in Florida and needs YOU to donate your catch! We are especially interested in how coyotes are affecting white-tailed deer, turkeys, bobwhite quail, livestock, and pets! YOUR help is needed to obtain legally acquired coyote carcasses, with or without pelts. We will also accept coyote stomachs and intestines if you cannot store the whole carcass. Carcasses or stomachs and intestines should be frozen in a suitable bag or container, and include the name of contributor, animal weight/sex, date harvested/obtained, and location harvested/obtained. Arrangements can be made to get carcasses from you at the University or combine your animals with others in your area for a pickup. 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!
Lauren N. Watine & Bill Giuliano
FLORIDA RESIDENTS ASKED TO REPORT SIGHTINGS OF RARE SNAKES
Information on current distribution and abundance of the southern hognose snake (Heterodon simus), short-tailed snake (Lampropeltis extenuata), and Florida pine snake (Pituophis melanoleucus mugitus) is needed, and your observations can help FWC biologists evaluate their status. These snakes spend much of their time underground in dry, upland habitats and are difficult to survey. Participate here: https://public.myfwc.com/fwri/raresnakes/UserHome.aspx?id=
FWC REQUESTS REPORTS OF PANTHER, CHIPMUNK, MINK AND BLACK BEAR 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
- Report black bear sightings here: https://public.myfwc.com/fwri/blackbear/getlatlong.aspx
FWC WILDLIFE LEGACY INITIATIVE NEWSLETTER
See the latest news at: http://myfwc.com/conservation/special-initiatives/fwli/news/fall-2013/
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:
UNIVERSITY OF GEORGIA CONTINUING FORESTRY EDUCATION CLASSES
See http://conted.warnell.uga.edu/ for the latest offerings.
ALABAMA COOPERATIVE EXTENSION FORESTRY WEBINARS