SIGN-UP FOR USDA EQIP CONSERVATION INITIATIVES BY MARCH 20
Agricultural producers can apply until March 20th for 2015 financial assistance to make natural resource improvements through several specific initiatives. The USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in Florida has designated funding for longleaf pine forests, seasonal high tunnels, pollinators, water quality, organic farming, on-farm energy and gopher tortoise habitat. Farmers and ranchers can apply through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program.
APPLICATION FOR USDA NRCS CONSERVATION STEWARDSHIP PROGRAM DUE FEBRUARY 27
The Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) provides financial and technical assistance to conserve and enhance soil, water, air and related natural resources on their land. Producers earn higher payments for higher performance. USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is funding $100 million nationally to CSP this year with up to 7.7 million acres of private lands projected to be enrolled. A CSP self-screening checklist is available to help producers determine if the program is suitable for their operation. The checklist highlights basic information about CSP eligibility requirements, stewardship threshold requirements and payment types.
While local NRCS offices accept CSP applications year round, to be eligible for this year’s enrollment, producers must have their applications submitted to NRCS by the closing date of February 27. Learn more about CSP by visiting the NRCS website or a local NRCS field office.
COGONGRASS TREATMENT COST-SHARE PROGRAM APPLICATIONS DUE FEBRUARY 27
The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Florida Forest Service is accepting applications for the Cogongrass Treatment Cost-Share Program. 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 2015 may apply 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
U.S. FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE PARTNERS FOR FISH AND WILDLIFE PROGRAM
Applications for financial and technical assistance accepted until April 6
The USFWS Partners for Fish and Wildlife program provides financial and technical assistance to private landowners, county and local governments and NGOs for wildlife habitat management projects. The program coordinator will be accepting project proposals for 2015 funding until April 6th. For more details see http://www.fws.gov/partners/aboutus.html. Application form here. Questions can be directed to Erin Myers, USFWS Private Lands Biologist, (239) 657-8009, Erin_Myers@fws.gov
LATEST ISSUE OF FLORIDA FOREST SERVICE'S FLFORESTRY NEWS
Latest issue on the homepage:
LATEST ISSUE OF FWC'S WILDLIFE LEGACY INITIATIVE NEWSLETTER
Latest issue here::
TAX TIPS FOR FOREST LANDOWNERS FOR THE 2014 TAX YEAR - UPDATED
Tax laws on timber transactions are very specialized but important to timber owners in terms of the ongoing cost of owning and managing timber, forest stewardship and compliance to the tax law. This bulletin reviews the major federal income tax laws to help forest owners in filing their 2014 income tax returns. The information presented is current as of December 2014.
2014 TAX TIPS (pdf). And don't miss the the February 5 webinar on this topic!
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 free Forest Health Diagnostic Forum: http://sfrc.ufl.edu/treehealth/forum/.
OREST STEWARDSHIP VIDEOS - VIEW AND SHARE!
All the latest videos are on the Florida Forest Stewardship Program home page:
ONGOING SERVICES, INITIATIVES, PROGRAMS:
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!
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.
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:
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