The American Forest Foundation (AFF) and the US Forest Service (USFS) finalized a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to work together on forest stewardship efforts across the U.S. to protect and conserve the clean water and air, wildlife habitat and wood supply we get from our family-owned forests today and for future generations to come.
With the growing challenges to forest ownership and management – invasive species, catastrophic wildfires, changing climate, development pressures and more – it is critical that we work to engage the 22 million families and individuals who own the largest portion of forests in our country in order to sustain this important resource. Additionally, conservation will not continue unless we work with educators and partners to ensure the next generation is equipped to take on these challenges as well. To get to this large scale, collaboration is key.
The USFS has held a long-standing partnership with AFF, helping support nearly all its programs, from forest stewardship through the American Tree Farm System to environmental education through Project Learning Tree, to AFF’s work in places such as Wisconsin, Oregon, Alabama and more. As the American Tree Farm System and Project Learning Tree both hit noteworthy anniversaries this year (75 and 40 years, respectively), the USFS and AFF, seeing great value in the partnership, have reaffirmed it for an additional five years. More information at the AFF website
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