Something that sets the American Tree Farm System (ATFS) apart from all other private land stewardship programs is forest certification. ATFS Tree Farms are currently third party certified as sustainable (or “green”) and products can be sold as such at market. Florida, along with the other states are now being presented with a choice to make: to either stay in or opt out of ATFS Certification status depending on the importance we see in it. The Florida Tree Farm Committee will be required to make a formal declaration by December 31, 2015 of whether or not we want to continue as a state program of “third party certified” Tree Farms. The alternative is to revert to a “recognition” program that no longer has a “certification” status. As Tree Farmers, The Florida Tree Farm Committee would like your opinion of whether Florida should remain in a “certified” Tree Farm program, or drop the requirement for third party certification. Please reply with any comments you may have on this to Phil Gornicki, State Tree Farm Coordinator at 850-222-5646 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
SITES NEEDED FOR UF COGONGRASS RESEARCH STUDY
Dr. Luke Flory, UF-IFAS Agronomy Dept, is looking at the effects of cogongrass invasion and soil moisture availability on longleaf pine seedling recruitment. He's looking for sites on private lands that would be suitable for his research. Here's what he's looking for:
- At least 10 sites total that span the broadest possible range of soil moisture availability from upland sand hills to flatwoods.
- All sites need to be invaded by cogongrass – the invasion doesn't have to be contiguous but that would be best. The total area invaded needs to be about 1/4 to 1/3 acre.
- The less management over the last 2-3 years the better – and no planned management for the next few years at least. Okay if the surrounding area is managed, just not our plots.
- Longleaf overstory if possible.
- Within 2 hours travel time of Gainesville.
FWC TO HOLD PUBLIC MEETINGS IN CENTRAL FL FOR INPUT ON MANAGING BEARS
This month, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) will hold seven public meetings to discuss conservation and management of black bears in central Florida and how people can get involved. Under the FWC’s Florida Black Bear Management Plan approved in 2012, seven bear management units (BMUs) will be established throughout the state. The BMU approach will allow the FWC to manage bears based on the characteristics of bears, people and habitat in different parts of Florida. The first steps are being taken to create the Central BMU to manage bears in central Florida, which includes the state’s largest bear subpopulation in the Ocala National Forest and surrounding areas. The meetings will offer the public a chance to provide input on local bear issues and allow interested individuals to sign up to be active members of the Central Bear Stakeholder Group. The meetings will be held from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at the following locations:
- March 18 - DeLand, City Hall, 120 S. Florida Ave.
- March 19 - Fort McCoy, Whiteacre Memorial VFW Post 1020, 23498 NE Highway 314.
- March 20 - Palatka, Ravine Gardens State Park, 1600 Twigg St.
- March 25 - Gainesville, City Hall, 200 E. University Ave.
The goal of the Small Farms Academy is to train small farmers by providing unique, hands-on classes, workshops, and field days on specific topics in order to sustain existing small farms and increase the number of new small farms. All events here:
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:
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 replies are prompt. We are also happy to examine your samples, or visit your site for a minimal fee. We are here to help you protect your trees!
"TIME TO THIN" VIDEO ON YOUTUBE
Not your usual instructional video - check it out! In just 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:
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
FWC REQUESTS REPORTS OF WILDLIFE 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.as
Report black bear sightings here: https://public.myfwc.com/fwri/blackbear/getlatlong.aspx
Report southern hognose snake (Heterodon simus), short-tailed snake (Lampropeltis extenuata), and Florida pine snake (Pituophis melanoleucus mugitus) here:
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:
For more information, please contact Dr. Ben Wigley at 864-656-0840 or email@example.com
FWC WILDLIFE LEGACY INITIATIVE NEWSLETTER
See the latest news at: http://myfwc.com/conservation/special-initiatives/fwli/news/winter-2014/
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