Funding is available from the US Fish and Wildlife Service Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program invasive species control within the Apalachicola River watershed. Cogongrass on private lands in Gadsden and Liberty counties is highest priority for treatment. This is a 60% cost share. Contact Brian Pelc, The Nature Conservancy, (727) 515-8313, firstname.lastname@example.org.
SOMETHING BUGGING YOUR TREES? - CHECK OUT THE NEW DIAGNOSTICS FORUM
Hosted by a group of forest and tree health specialists with Southeastern universities and agencies, we are here to help identify pests and diseases in your forest or you backyard, and to recommend a solution, if appropriate. Join the group and report your tree health issue!
Visit the new Forest Health Diagnostic forum on Facebook:
RESTORE LONGLEAF PINE FOREST, REESTABLISH QUAIL ON FLORIDA'S AG LANDS
Sign up for financial assistance by May 19
Agricultural producers in Florida have until May 19 to apply for financial assistance to restore longleaf pine and build habitat for northern bobwhite quail habitat. Landowners can apply through Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) of the USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). NRCS helps landowners plant and manage longleaf forests through practices such as prescribed burning. Longleaf forests benefit both wildlife and land managers. Private landowners can get financial and technical assistance to restore and protect quail habitat in the following counties: Santa Rosa¸ Okaloosa, Walton, Jackson, Leon, Jefferson, Madison, Hamilton, Columbia, Clay, Levy, Marion, Osceola, Baker, Citrus, Polk, Highlands, Manatee, Charlotte and Sarasota.
Contact your local USDA service center for more information. A NRCS district conservationist will help you develop a conservation plan customized to your land and assist you in the application process for financial assistance. Applications are accepted throughout the year, although funding selections are usually made once a year. Learn more about getting started with NRCS.
FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE HELPS AG PRODUCERS IMPROVE WATER QUALITY
Application Deadline is May 19
Agricultural producers in three watersheds can apply for financial assistance from USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) until May 19 to improve water quality in high-priority streams and rivers. The watersheds are Deep Creek and Clarks Creek on the Lower St. Johns River within Putnam and St. Johns counties and the Little Scurlock Creek Watershed on the Lower Choctawhatchee River within Jackson and Washington counties.
The National Water Quality Initiative (NWQI) helps farmers and ranchers adopt conservation practices such as improving soil nutrient management, planting cover crops, using conservation cropping systems, establishing filter strips and monitoring water quality.
The contact for the Deep Creek and Clarks Creek watersheds is NRCS District Conservationist Lakeisha Barber, 386-328-2908, x3 and in Little Scurlock Creek contact District Conservationist MaryJane Nelson, 850-526-2610, x3. The first step is to develop a conservation plan with a NRCS specialist. Contact your local field office in Florida. Learn more about participating in conservation programs at www.nrcs.usda.gov/GetStarted.
SPRING 2017 ISSUE OF FWC FLORIDA WILDLIFE LEGACY NEWSLETTER
In this issue: Transitioning from Teaming With Wildlife, Using an Ecosystem Engineer to Restore Natural Pinelands in the South, Action Plan Revision: It's a marathon, not a sprint!, Landowner-Led Conservation: Introducing Prescribed Burn Associations in Florida, and more at: https://content.govdelivery.com/accounts/FLFFWCC/bulletins/18f0367
RECENT RESEARCH SHOWS SIGNIFICANT ECONOMIC IMPACT OF COGONGRASS ON NONINDUSTRIAL PRIVATE LANDOWNERS IN FLORIDA
A 2016 study published in Forest Science examined the costs of controlling cogongrass infestations among nonindustrial private forest (NIPF) landowners in Florida. The analysis was based on information collected through a mail survey that was widely distributed among NIPF landowners in Florida, reaching a final sample of 1,060 landowners. The survey revealed that nearly 30% of respondents have problems with cogongrass on their property. Close to 41% of the landowners indicated that cogongrass has reduced the recruitment and/or growth of trees in their woodlands, and 54% of them responded that cogongrass has increased the hazard for wildfire in the area of infestation. Data on direct costs associated with chemical or physical control of cogongrass was collected to complete an economic analysis, which revealed that cogongrass control costs resulted in total economic losses of $35 million annually to the forestry industry and related business sectors throughout Florida.
If you are among those dealing with a cogongrass problem, you can find information and assistance at the Florida Center for Aquatic and Invasive Plants at http://plants.ifas.ufl.edu/; and the Florida Invasive Species Partnership at http://www.floridainvasives.org/.
Divate, N., D. Solis, M. H. Thomas, S. Alvarez, and D. Harding. 2016. An Economic Analysis of the Impact of Cogongrass among Nonindustrial Private Forest Landowners in Florida. For. Sci. 62: 1-8.
FLORIDA FOREST SERVICE RELEASES FIRE INFORMATION APP Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Adam H. Putnam and the Florida Forest Service have announced the release of “FLBurnTools,” a new mobile app to inform the public about drought, wildfire danger and wildfire activity. Prescribed burn practitioners can also use the app to plan and submit authorization requests.
GOPHER TORTOISE DAY - APRIL 10, 2017
April 10th was officially adopted by the Gopher Tortoise Council as Gopher Tortoise Day! In Florida, gopher tortoises are found in parts of all 67 counties and are frequently encountered in neighborhoods, along roadways, and in many of Florida’s public parks and forests. The goal of Gopher Tortoise Day is to increase awareness and appreciation for these long lived, gentle reptiles.
Landowners can earn income by adopting relocated gopher tortoises.
Are you managing your land for upland pine habitat? Learn about an opportunity to adopt relocated gopher tortoises and earn income. That and other timber income related topics will be covered at this upcoming workshop:
May 25, Gadsden County: http://fsp-workshop052517.eventbrite.com/
Learn more about the gopher tortoise by visiting MyFWC.com/GopherTortoise or GopherTortoiseCouncil.org.
More Gopher Tortoise Resources:
Download free FWC gopher tortoise app to either Android and iOS smart phones – http://myfwc.com/wildlifehabitats/managed/gopher-tortoise/app
Gopher Tortoise Council – http://www.gophertortoisecouncil.org or https://www.facebook.com/Gopher-Tortoise-Council-138521712832770/
Celebrate Gopher Tortoise Day in Florida on April 10 – http://gophertortoisedayfl.com
ONGOING SERVICES, INITIATIVES, PROGRAMS:
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:
SOUTHERN REGION EXTENSION FORESTRY
See http://sref.info/ for the latest news, tools and offerings.