Hailed as the most significant conservation legislation in 20 years by many private lands conservationists, the enhanced Federal tax incentives for conservation easement donations are now permanent! After bipartisan support in Congress, President Obama signed legislation in December that:
- Raises the deduction a donor can take for donating a conservation easement from 30 percent of his or her income in any year to 50 percent;
- Allows qualifying farmers and ranchers to deduct up to 100 percent of their income; and
- Extends the carry-forward period for a donor to take tax deductions for a voluntary conservation agreement from 5 to 15 years.
For more information about conservation easements, see our UF/IFAS Extension publication about them at https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/fr149. For more about the incentive download the Land Trust Alliance's printer-friendly brochure (Using The Conservation Tax Incentive) for landowners, including frequently asked questions. Also, read a memo from the Internal Revenue Service (Internal Revenue Bulletin) offering guidance regarding deductions by individuals for qualified conservation contributions.
FEBRUARY 2016 ISSUE OF FLORIDA FOREST SERVICE NEWSLETTER AVAILABLE
FLForestry News Issue 05
FUNDING HELPS AGRICULTURAL PRODUCERS IMPROVE WORKING LANDS
Application Deadline March 31 for Conservation Stewardship Program
Agricultural producers can now sign up for funding available through the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP), a conservation program that helps improve the health and productivity of private and tribal working lands. USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) plans to add an estimated 10 million acres to the rolls of CSP during fiscal 2016.
NRCS accepts applications for CSP throughout the year, but producers should submit applications by March 31 to USDA service centers to be considered for enrollment in 2016. Participants with existing CSP contracts that will expire on Dec.31, 2016, have the option to renew their contracts for an additional five years if they agree to adopt additional activities to achieve higher levels of conservation on their lands. Applications to renew are also due by March 31. In Florida, producers can participate through CSP in the regional landscape-level Longleaf Pine Initiative.
Funding is available for more than 100 kinds of enhancements to help participants:
- Improve soil quality through use of cover crops, conservation crop rotations and other activities that increase soil productivity.
- Use water wisely and improve water quality through enhancements such as more efficient irrigation systems and weather monitoring.
- Restore habitat for wildlife and pollinators such as the greater sage-grouse, lesser prairie-chicken and monarch butterfly through the use of better grazing systems and improved plant management.
TAX TIPS FOR FOREST LANDOWNERS FOR THE 2015 TAX YEAR UPDATED
Federal income tax laws can influence a private woodland owner’s financial decisions about land management. Yet, special favorable tax provisions on timber that are intended to encourage private forest management and stewardship are commonly unknown. To help woodland owners in filing their 2015 tax returns, this publication, by Dr. Linda Wang, USDA Forest Service National Timber Tax Specialist, explains the federal income tax laws on timber. The information is not legal or accounting advice. This has been updated and includes recent tax law changes. This publication and other related resources are available at http://www.timbertax.org.
Linda's recent Timber Tax Filing for the 2015 Tax Year webinar was recorded. The recorded presentation and materials are available at:
2016 FLORIDA LAND STEWARD CALENDARS - AVAILABLE WHILE SUPPLIES LAST
The 2016 Florida Land Steward Calendars include beautiful photos, land management highlights, tips, partner resources and contacts. Email Chris at firstname.lastname@example.org to request your copy. Please include your mailing address when you drop a line.
RECORDING AND MATERIALS FROM THE DECEMBER 10 FOREST HEALTH UPDATE WORKSHOP AVAILABLE
Insects and diseases are natural components of the forest. Some of these insects and diseases can become pests when they inhibit tree regeneration and growth on a large scale. In addition to native pests, invasive exotic pests are a growing challenge, with new species being introduced every year. This workshop provides an update on current forest health issues and priorities across Florida with emphasis on proactive management and available assistance. Recorded presentations, materials and related links are all here.
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?
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