SUMMER/FALL ISSUE OF THE QUARTERLY FLORIDA LAND STEWARD NEWSLETTER NOW AVAILABLE
In this issue: Saving the Souttheastern American Kestrel, The ProForest Initiative, Florida Tree Farm Program Update, Consultant Corner: Marking Gun-in-Hand, Timber Price Update, Certified Forest Stewards and Tree Farmers. Current and back issues available here. Hard copies are in production and will be mailed within the next couple weeks.
PROFOREST INITIATIVE UNDERWAY AT THE UF/IFAS SCHOOL OF FOREST RESOURCES AND CONSERVATION
ProForest is a multi-institutional initiative that brings together specialists from diverse fields in order to promote forest health and resilience through collaborative research, extension and education.
The goals of this initiative are to: increase awareness about forest threats and their social, economic and ecologic consequences; train the next generation of forest health professionals, promote collaboration and dialog between researchers and forest owners, managers and users; provide policy recommendations that facilitate managing forests for resilience and economic sustainability; develop and transfer innovative solutions to support forest management decisions; develop novel concepts and techniques to promote forest resilience; predict and proactively manage emerging pests and diseases; and understand the impacts of global change on forest ecosystems and their services.
Learn more at http://proforesthealth.org/
2017 LONGLEAF PINE PRIVATE LANDOWNER INCENTIVE PROGRAM
Apply by July 28, 2017
The Florida Forest Service is accepting applications for the Longleaf Pine Private Landowner Incentives Program. The objective of this Program is to increase the acreage of healthy longleaf pine ecosystems in Florida by helping non-industrial private forest (NIPF) landowners to make the long-term investment required to establish and maintain this valuable ecosystem. Toward this end, the program offers NIPF landowners technical guidance and incentive payments for conducting certain approved forest management practices that help establish or improve longleaf pine stands.
The program offers incentive payments for: longleaf pine seedling establishment, timber stand improvement, prescribed burning, native plant understory establishment, mechanical underbrush treatments, invasive exotic plant treatment. All payments are made at specified per-acre or per-seedling rates.
The program is limited to the Florida counties located west of the Aucilla River, as well as Alachua, Bradford, Brevard, Citrus, Clay, Lake, Levy, Marion, Orange, Putnam, Seminole, Sumter, and Volusia Counties. Qualified landowners may apply for up to four approved practices per year. The minimum tract size requirement is 10 acres, and funding requests may not exceed $10,000. Only one application per landowner is permitted per year. Contact your Florida Forest Service County Forester to apply.
2017 SOUTHERN PINE BEETLE ASSISTANCE AND PREVENTION PROGRAM
Apply by July 31, 2017
The Florida Forest Service has announced the 2017 Southern Pine Beetle Assistance and Prevention Program, offered to eligible non-industrial private forest landowners by the Florida Forest Service (FFS) through temporary grants from the USDA Forest Service.
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.
The program offers partial cost reimbursement or incentive payments for first pulpwood thinning, prescribed burning, planting longleaf and/or slash pine, and mechanical underbrush treatments. All payments are made at specified per-acre or per-seedling rates.
The program is limited to 44 northern Florida counties located within the range of the southern pine beetle. Qualified landowners may apply for up to two approved practices per year. The minimum tract size requirement is 10 acres (5 acres for a First Pulpwood Thinning) and funding requests may not exceed $10,000. Only one application per landowner is permitted per year. All applications received during the sign-up period will be evaluated and ranked to determine which applications can be approved with the available grant funds. Applications that meet all of the eligibility and program requirements will be evaluated for funding. Landowners with current, active Forest Stewardship Plans or Tree Farm Certification will receive a 15-point boost in their ranking score. Those with a consultant-prepared Multi-Resource Management Plan (MRMP) on file with the County Forester will receive a 10-point increase.
More details are on the 2017 SPB Program web page.
Contact your Florida Forest Service County Forester to apply.
SIGN UP NOW FOR 2017 COGONGRASS TREATMENT COST-SHARE PROGRAM
Apply by August 30, 2017
A Cogongrass Treatment Cost-Share Program is again offered to eligible non-industrial private landowners by the Florida Forest Service (FFS) through temporary grants from the USDA Forest Service. The primary objective of this program is to reduce the spread of cogongrass to new areas by helping private landowners control or eradicate existing infestations. Cogongrass (Imperata cylindrica L.) is a non-native, invasive grass that is established in Florida and several other southeastern states. In addition to being regulated as a state and federal noxious weed, cogongrass is a pest plant in 73 countries, and has been recognized as one of the “Top 10 Worst Weeds in the World.” 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. See http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/wg202 for more information about this pest.
The Cost-Share Program offers reimbursement of up to 50% of the cost of herbicide treatment of cogongrass infestations on non-industrial private land for two consecutive years. The maximum reimbursement is $100 per year for treatment of up to one acre, and $75/acre per year for any additional area. There is no minimum size, and qualified applicants may apply to treat up to a maximum of 133 acres of infested area. Applications must be submitted through the County Forester where the property is located. For more information see the Program website at: http://www.freshfromflorida.com/Cogongrass-Program or contact your Florida Forest Service County Forester.
CONSERVATION PARTNERS PROGRAM ANNOUNCES REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS
In Florida grant funding will be used to conserve wetlands and agricultural lands through the NRCS Agricultural Conservation Easement Program (ACEP) and target beginning farmers, socially disadvantaged farmers or ranchers, limited resource farmers or ranchers, Tribes and veteran farmers and ranchers. Applications are due by Aug. 17 to National Fish and Wildlife Foundation online: easygrants.nfwf.org
Typical grant awards will range from $50,000 to $300,000. A match of at least 1:1 non-federal cash or in-kind is required. Eligible applicants include: non-profit 501(c) organizations, farmer and commodity-led organizations, educational institutions, tribal governments, and state or local units of governments (e.g. state agricultural and/or conservation agencies, counties, townships, cities, conservation districts, utility districts, drainage districts, etc.).
For more information go to: http://tinyurl.com/y8fpgpdp
The Conservation Partners Program is a collaborative effort between USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service, the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and other regional/initiative-specific partners.
FLORIDA LAND STEWARD CALENDAR OF EVENTS
AIR POTATO PATROL CITIZEN SCIENCE PROJECT
A new on-line Citizen Science project is looking for volunteers at https://airpotatobeetle.com/. This collaborative project between University of Florida IFAS Extension and Florida Dept. of Agriculture and Consumer Services seeks to educate residents on how to identify and better control air potato vines, and to gather data important to current research and air potato leaf beetle tracking. The website contains educational videos and a blog to educate the participants and keep them updated. Volunteers will be asked to complete surveys to evaluate the level of air potato infestation and the presence of the air potato beetles in their test plots. For more information please visit the website or contact William Lester, UF/IFAS Extension, at 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:
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 offer