EPA’s FINAL DECISION ON FOREST ROADS
From the Florida Forestry Association
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has made its final decision with regard to the lawsuit originating in the western U.S. that required the agency to consider whether the Clean Water Act requires additional regulations for stormwater discharges from forest roads. The EPA has decided that "no additional regulations are needed to address stormwater discharges from forest roads under the Clean Water Act at this time.”
The message from EPA identifies Best Management Practices (BMPs), and their implementation rates, as the reason they would rather help strengthen existing programs in further addressing forest road discharges, than superimposing an additional federal regulatory layer over them.
This decision is in no small part a refection of the great work being done by forestry agencies, forestry and natural resource professionals, loggers, forest companies, landowners and other stakeholders to protect water quality during forestry operations. We are grateful for the many landowners and forest companies that are committed to the proper implementation of Silviculture BMPs on the lands they own and/or manage. We are also grateful for the Florida Forest Service and the many partner agencies and organizations that developed and are continually promoting and improving Florida's BMPs, as well as the loggers and silvicultural contractors who regularly implement BMPs on the forest lands that they harvest, prepare, plant and tend.
EASY WAY TO CONNECT AND RECEIVE CONSERVATION HELP FROM USDA
From USDA Natural Resources Consevation Service (NRCS)
The U.S. Department of Agriculture has an online web application that allows you to request conservation technical and financial assistance. Log on to the Conservation Client Gateway to apply for conservation program assistance, manage applications, review and sign documents, access conservation plans, maps and other documents.
For more information, fact sheets, FAQs and a how-to video, visit www.nrcs.usda.gov/clientgateway. Producers can also contact NRCS at their local USDA Service Center office. Service center locations and program information can be found on the Florida NRCS Web site at www.fl.nrcs.usda.gov.
SOUTHERN PINE BEETLE ACTIVITY UPDATE
From Florida Forest Service (FFS)
New infestations have been found this week. in Baker and Nassau Counties. As of the last update, more than 150 infestations have been documented, covering over 550 acres in twelve counties. More possible locations are being investigated each week. Summer temperatures are ideal for rapid SPB development, which peaks at 85-90° F. County Foresters, Pilots, Forest Health Section staff, and other FFS field personnel are actively conducting aerial surveys and ground checks, and landowners in many locations are conducting suppression/salvage harvests. See latest infestation map here.
SOUTHERN PINE BEETLE ASSISTANCE AND PREVENTION PROGRAM NOW ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS
Applications for the program will be accepted until July 29, 2016.
The Southern Pine Beetle Assistance and Prevention Program is offered to eligible non-industrial private forest landowners by the Florida Forest Service (FFS) through temporary grants from the USDA Forest Service.
Periodic southern pine beetle (SPB) outbreaks in Florida have resulted in millions of cubic feet of pine timber killed on thousands of acres. The goal of this program is to minimize SPB damage in Florida by helping forest landowners conduct management practices that can make their pine stands less susceptible to this destructive insect pest. Forest management practices such as thinning, prescribed burning, other competition control, and use of less-susceptible pine species can improve the health of pine stands and decrease their likelihood of developing SPB infestations.
For more information on the SPB Prevention program, see the SPB Prevention Program web page and contact your Florida Forest Service County Forester office.
COGONGRASS TREATMENT COST-SHARE PROGRAM NOW ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS
Applications for the program will be accepted until 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. “Left untreated, invasive cogongrass can spread quickly, causing long-term problems,” said State Forester Jim Karels. “In addition to reducing the productivity and value of forests and rangelands, it can greatly increase the risk and severity of wildfire.”
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.
ONGOING SERVICES, INITIATIVES, PROGRAMS:
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?
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