A big thanks and salute to all of you for whom every day is Earth Day: farmers, forest landowners, foresters, wildlife biologists, natural resource professionals, extension agents, conservationists, volunteers, advocates and all who work every day toward environmental stewardship.
ONLINE BURN REQUEST SYSTEM SAVES TIME
By John Saddler, Prescribed Fire Manager, Florida Forest Service
On average, the Florida Forest Service (FFS) issues just over 80,000 open burn authorizations each year. When conditions are right for burning, the phone lines are flooded with requests for authorization. For burners, this can mean being put on hold or even having to call back when lines are open.
In an effort to reduce the number of telephone calls, the FFS has implemented a web-based open burn authorization system called WebOBA. Using this system, certified burners can go online and place a request for a burn authorization. Once the request is placed, our field staff will be able to view the request and authorize the burn without having to talk to the burner. This system will increase the efficiency of the authorization process.
WebOBA is only available for certified acreage burners and certified pile burners. More information can be found on the FFS WebOBA page.
SIGN UP FOR USDA NRCS AGRICULTURAL LAND CONSERVATION EASEMENTS
Application Deadline is May 11
Applications are being accepted until May 11 for Agricultural Land Easement applications from Indian tribes, state and local governments, and non-governmental organizations that have farmland or grassland protection programs. USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (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. Applications are available online. Contact Nina Bhattacharyya, 352-338-9554 for questions and submissions.
STATE LOOKING FOR FARMERS, RANCHERS, FORESTERS WANTING TO PERMANENTLY PRESERVE WORKING AGRICULTURAL LANDS
Application Deadline is May 16
The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services will invest $35 million toward the protection and preservation of working agricultural lands in Florida and invites agricultural land owners to apply to the conservation program. The Rural and Family Lands Protection Program, which is administered by the department, partners with Florida's agricultural landowners to develop perpetual conservation easements that protect important natural resources while allowing landowners to maintain ownership and use of the land. The program is accepting applications through May 16, 2016.
The Rural and Family Lands Protection Program focuses on maintaining the agricultural land base in Florida and recognizes that a thriving rural economy with a strong agricultural base and viable rural communities is essential to Florida's future. Since the program's inception, more than 14,500 acres of Florida ranches and farms threatened by development have been approved for conservation. These lands will be forever protected from conversion to other uses such as residential and commercial development.
To learn more about the program and to obtain application form, please visit the program page at FreshFromFlorida.com.
U.S. GREEN BUILDING COUNCIL’S LEED STANDARDS NOW INCLUDE TREE FARM AND SFI CERTIFIED WOOD
From American Forest Foundation, April 6, 2016 release
The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), the governing body for the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) green building rating system, recently announced that it will now begin encouraging responsibly sourced building materials through a new compliance path that includes wood from family forests certified by the American Tree Farm System (ATFS) and the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI).
The new LEED credit path will encourage builders to use wood from all credible certification systems operating in the U.S. including ATFS, SFI, Programme for Endoresement of Forest Certification (PEFC) and the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC). More details about this and how forest landowners can show support for this breakthrough are at the American Forest Foundation site.
TAX TIPS FOR FOREST LANDOWNERS FOR THE 2015 TAX YEAR UPDATED For the die-hard procrastinators - 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.
Dr. Linda's recent Timber Tax Filing for the 2015 Tax Year webinar was recorded. The recorded presentation and materials are available at:
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