Applications accepted through Feb. 27, 2015 to remove invasive plant
The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Florida Forest Service is now accepting applications for the Cogongrass Treatment Cost-Share Program.
“Invasive cogongrass spreads quickly and aggressively and can cause long-term problems if left untreated,” said State Forester Jim Karels. “In addition to reducing the productivity and value of forests and rangelands, it can greatly increase the risk and severity of wildfire.”
Cogongrass is an invasive, non-native grass, which occurs in Florida and several other southeastern states. Cogongrass infestations negatively affect tree regeneration, growth and survival, as well as wildlife habitat, native plant diversity, forage quality and property values. They also increase the risk of wildfires and alter fire behavior.
The Cogongrass Treatment Cost-Share Program is offered for non-industrial private lands in all Florida counties. It provides reimbursement of 50 percent of the cost to treat Cogongrass infestations for two consecutive years.
Applicants who wish to conduct treatments in 2014 may apply from Sept. 22, 2014 through Oct. 3, 2014. Applicants who wish to conduct treatments in 2015 may apply from Oct. 6, 2014 through Feb. 27, 2015.
To learn more about this program and obtain an application form, contact a local Florida Forest Service office or visit http://www.FloridaForestService.com. All qualifying applications will be evaluated and ranked for approval. This program is supported through a grant from the U.S. Forest Service.
For more information about cogongrass and management see http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/wg202
For more information about the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, visit http://www.FreshFromFlorida.com.
ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY INCENTIVES PROGRAM HELPS FARMERS, RANCHERS CONSERVE NATURAL RESOURCES
Application deadline for Environmental Quality Incentive Program Nov. 21
Florida farmers and ranchers can apply until Nov. 21 for financial assistance in fiscal year 2015 through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) to improve soil, water, air, plants, animals and related resources.
Through EQIP, the USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) develops contracts with agricultural producers to help plan and implement conservation practices that address natural resource concerns. Eligible land includes cropland, rangeland, pastureland, private non-industrial forestland and other farm or ranch lands. The application process for conservation programs is continuous, but funding selections are typically made once a year.
Begin by visiting your local NRCS field office and requesting help developing a conservation plan. Our experts provide this free service to help you use your natural resources more efficiently. To learn about technical and financial assistance available from NRCS, go to Getting Started with NRCS.
CATHY HARDIN, 2014 FLORIDA OUTSTANDING TREE FARM INSPECTOR
Cathy Hardin (Escambia County Forester, Florida Forest Service) has been selected as the 2014 Florida Tree Farm Inspector of the Year. If asked about the favorite part of work as a forester, Cathy will tell you it all stems from helping forest landowners meet their personal goals. Sometimes the goal is attaining Tree Farm certification; other times it is simply learning more about their “bit of heaven." Whatever the goal, Cathy gets much satisfaction from helping a landowner get there! Cathy will be recognized during the November 14 tour of the Woodward Family Tree Farm in Gadsden County.
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 email@example.com.
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