The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Florida Forest Service is updating portions of the state’s Forest Action Plan related to the USDA Forest Legacy Program and is inviting citizens and stakeholders to get involved. The Florida Forest Service’s participation in the Forest Legacy Program compliments its Rural and Family Lands Protection Program by helping to protect and conserve important forest areas through voluntary conservation easements and fee simple purchases.
“The protection and conservation of forests in Florida is vital,” said Jim Karels, State Forester. “Florida’s forests provide countless benefits including forest products, job opportunities, recreational opportunities, and the protection of water quality and wildlife habitat.”
Currently, the Florida Forest Service is partnering with Florida State University’s Florida Natural Areas Inventory (FNAI) to update and identify priority forestlands that qualify as Forest Legacy areas eligible for federal funding from the Forest Legacy Program.
In an effort to secure broad support for the Forest Legacy Program in Florida and to seek further input from citizens and stakeholders on potential criteria and focus areas, the Florida Forest Service and FNAI will hold three Public Participation Workshops around the state. Below are the Forest Legacy workshop details:
- KISSIMMEE, FL
Tuesday, August 5, 2014, 6:00 pm- 8:00 pm (EST): Osceola County Extension Office, Osceola Heritage Park, 1921 Kissimmee Valley Lane, Kissimmee FL 34744
- TALLAHASSEE, FL
Thursday, August 7, 2014, 6:00 pm- 8:00 pm (EST): Eyster Auditorium, 3125 Conner Blvd., Tallahassee, FL 32311
- GAINESVILLE, FL
Thursday, August 12, 2014, 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm (EST): 1911 Southwest 34 Street, Gainesville, FL 32608
The Florida Forest Service manages more than one million acres of public forest land while protecting 26 million acres of homes, forestland and natural resources from the devastating effects of wildfire. For more information about sustainable forestry practices and forest conservation efforts in Florida, visit www.FloridaForestService.com.
JULY / AUGUST ISSUE OF FIRE LINES NOW AVAILABLE
Fire Lines is a joint newsletter for the Southern Fire Exchange and the Southeastern Section of the Association for Fire Ecology. This newsletter is published bimonthly to briefly summarize recent fire-related publications, projects, activities, and news. Current and back issues here.
TO CERTIFY OR NOT: FLORIDA TREE FARM PROGRAM NEEDS TO DECIDE
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.
ONGOING SERVICES, INITIATIVES, PROGRAMS:
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
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.
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.aspx
- 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:
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