In this issue: U.S. Green Building Council's LEED Standards Now Include Tree Farm and SFI Certified Wood, State Agencies Partner with New NRCS Program to Enhance Private Landowner Assistance, Online Burn Request System Saves Time, FORCES Program Provides Assistance to Forest Landowners in Vicinity of Military Bases, National Private Lands Partners Day in Sebring, FL, Timber Price Update,Certified Forest Stewards and Tree Farmers, Events Calendar. Current and back issues of the Florida Land Steward here.
COGONGRASS TREATMENT COST-SHARE PROGRAM NOW ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS
Applications for the program will be accepted through July 29, 2016.
The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services has announced that the Florida Forest Service is now accepting applications for the Cogongrass Treatment Cost-Share Program. Applications for the program will be accepted through July 29, 2016.
Cogongrass is an invasive, non-native grass that 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, which is supported through a grant from the USDA Forest Service, is offered for non-industrial private lands in all Florida counties. It provides reimbursement of 50 percent of the cost to treat cogongrass infestations with herbicide for two consecutive years.
To obtain an application form or to learn more about program requirements, contact a local Florida Forest Service county forester or visit the Cogongrass Treatment Cost-Share Program webpage. All qualifying applications will be evaluated and ranked for approval.
2016 FLORIDA SOUTHERN PINE BEETLE FORECAST
By Chris Pearce, Florida Forest Service
A pheromone trap survey was conducted in March 2016 as part of an ongoing program to monitor the populations of Southern Pine Beetle (SPB) and its associated predators. The purpose is to provide an early-season prediction of the potential level of SPB activity in select Florida counties, and identify areas which may be at increased risk for an outbreak. The results of the 2016 survey indicate that SPB populations are low at all but one trap location and suggest that the risk of widespread SPB infestations in the surveyed counties is low. See full report here.
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.
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