Couldn't make it to the workshops on forest certification last year? Confused about what forest certification is and who's involved? The new Forest Certification YouTube Channel is for you! Regional and national experts on this topic give you the facts. Check it out.
SIGN UP FOR WETLAND, AGRICULTURAL LAND CONSERVATION EASEMENTS
Applications are being accepted for USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service Agricultural Conservation Easements Program (ACEP), which provides financial and technical assistance for farmers, ranchers and forest landowners to establish conservation easements. The program funds easements for wetlands and agricultural lands. Wetland reserve easements restore, protect and enhance wetlands on privately owned and tribal land. Eligible lands include farmed or converted wetlands that can be successfully and cost-effectively restored. NRCS provides financial assistance to partners for purchasing agricultural land easements that protect the agricultural use of cropland, rangeland, grassland, pastureland and nonindustrial private forestland. Partners include Indian tribes, state and local governments and non-governmental organizations that have farmland or grassland protection programs.
Contact your local NRCS office to find out how to apply or obtain the applications online. Applications are rated according to the easement’s potential for protecting and enhancing habitat for migratory birds, fish and other wildlife. Contact Crenel Francis, 352-338-3508 about wetland reserve easements. For more information about agricultural land easements contact Nina Bhattacharyya, 352-338-9554.
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.
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
TAX TIPS FOR FOREST LANDOWNERS FOR THE 2014 TAX YEAR
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. 2014 TAX TIPS (pdf).
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/.
FOREST STEWARDSHIP VIDEOS - VIEW AND SHARE!
All the latest videos are on the Florida Forest Stewardship Program home page:
GOT AN INVASIVE SPECIES PROBLEM?
Go to floridainvasives.org for information, assistance and partnership opportunities.
LOOKING FOR INFORMATION ON A PARTICULAR TOPIC?Check the vast array of extension publications available through UF/IFAS on the EDIS publication site: http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ Wow, there’s a publication about that?
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:
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