Wednesday, September 20, 2017

CONGRATULATIONS JOHN AND ALLISON NASH: 2017 FLORIDA TREE FARMERS OF THE YEAR



CONGRATULATIONS JOHN AND ALLISON NASH: 2017 FLORIDA TREE FARMERS OF THE YEAR

John and Allison Nash are recognized for their outstanding forest stewardship and have been selected as Florida’s Outstanding Tree Farm of 2017. Their Osceola Pines property in Levy County was an active turpentine harvest in the late 1800’s, continuing until the 1920’s.The property was then managed for timber production and became a large lease hunting club. The Nash’s goal is to enjoy the property as a family retreat, and ensure future income from timber production. Their objectives are to optimize the production of wildlife, especially wild turkey, and integrate that with timber production. By staying focused on a long-term plan and seeking professional and financial assistance, they are realizing their goal. They joined the Florida Forestry Association to get connected to information and resources and have received technical and financial assistance from the National Wild Turkey Federation, Florida Forest Service, USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, and other partners.

Join us for a tour, lunch and awards ceremony on Friday, October 20, 2017 at Osceola Pines. Learn about sustainable forest and wildlife habitat management and connect with the local and statewide professionals and resources that are available to assist in your land management. Most of the tour will involve riding in vans or open trailers with several discussion stops and a short walk or two. Please wear appropriate clothing, footwear and bring rain gear in case of wet weather.

This event is free but pre-registration is required. Reserve a space by calling Whitney at the Florida Forestry Association, (850) 222-5646. Space will be limited and the registration deadline is October 13. More details are here.

Thursday, September 7, 2017

FLORIDA LAND STEWARD UPDATE 9/8/17

UF/IFAS HURRICANE IRMA UPDATES AND SAFETY
Check this page for updates on Hurricane Irma, preparation, safety tips, and more:
http://blogs.ifas.ufl.edu/news/2017/09/06/hurricane-irma-updates/


AFTER THE STORM: ASSESSMENT AND MANAGEMENT OF HURRICANE DAMAGED TIMBER
When hurricane- or tropical storm-force winds rip through forestland, the remaining twisted, broken and damaged timber is no longer the same merchantable product as it was before the storm. In addition to timber value and infrastructure losses, many forest landowners and managers are also concerned about potential problems, such as bark beetles and wildfire, which may become problems in coming months. This fact sheet summarizes information and guidelines from many sources, with a focus on Florida. It provides guidance to forestland owners for assessing severe storm damage, handling salvage operations and timber sales, minimizing potential impacts of other disasters after the storm, dealing with financial issues such as income tax casualty losses, and altering management plans: http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/fr154
     
FLORIDA PRESCRIBED FIRE COUNCIL MEETINGS COMING UP (link to more information)

  • Central Florida PFC, September 22, 2017,  Osceola Heritage Center, Kissimmee, FL, Meeting Registration
  • South Flrida Fire PFC, Octoberr 24, 2017, Palm Beach County Vista Center – West Palm Beach, FL. Details to be posted at Floida Forest Service link above.
  • North Florida PFC, October 25, 2017, Theater Tallahassee, Tallahassee, FL. Details to be posted at Floida Forest Service link above. 

SIGN UP FOR 2017 COGONGRASS TREATMENT COST-SHARE PROGRAM
Deadline extended for a limited time-
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.

2017 LONGLEAF PINE PRIVATE LANDOWNER INCENTIVE PROGRAM
Deadline Extended to September 15 for central FL area
The Florida Forest Service is still accepting applications for the Longleaf Pine Private Landowner Incentives Program in Alachua, Bradford, Brevard, Citrus, Clay, Lake, Levy, Marion, Orange, Putnam, Seminole, Sumter, and Volusia Counties. 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.

This extension is limited to 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.

REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS FOR JOINT CHIEF'S LANDSCAPE RESTORATION PARTNERSHIP
Proposals due October 17
The U.S. Forest Service and Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) are requesting
proposals for funding consideration in fiscal year (FY) 2018 within the Joint Chiefs' Landscape
Restoration Partnership (JCLRP). The intent of the partnership is to achieve measurable
objectives through restoration projects that coordinate conservation activities on public and
private lands. Projects funded will enable collaboration among the Forest Service, NRCS, and many local, non-governmental, Tribal, and individual landowner stakeholders. Request letter and proposal template here.

NEED A LOAN TO FUND CONSERVATION PROJECTS? CHECK OUT THE USDA FARM SERVICE AGENCY'S GUARANTEED CONSERVATION LOAN PROGRAM
The USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) guarantees loans to promote conservation practices on farms and ranches that help protect natural resources. The goal of FSA’s Conservation Loan (CL) program is to provide access to credit for farmers who need and want to implement conservation measures on their land, but do not have the “up front” funds available to implement these practices. For more information see this Conservation Loan Program Fact Sheet. Also see this table summarizing FSA farm loan opportunities.

The Conservation Contract Program is a program for eligible landowners that protects important natural resources and other sensitive areas while providing a debt management tool. A conservation contract is available to people with Farm Service Agency (FSA) direct loans secured by real estate. These individuals may qualify for a reduction of their FSA indebtedness in exchange for a conservation contract with a term of 50, 30 or 10 years. The conservation contract is a voluntary legal agreement that restricts the type and amount of development that may take place on portions of the landowner’s property. Contracts may be established on marginal cropland and other environmentally sensitive lands for conservation, recreation and wildlife purposes. For more information see this Conservation Contract Program Fact Sheet.

The FSA provides several types of farm loans. For more information on these opportunities, see the Florida FSA Website or contact your local FSA office to speak with a local representative

FLORIDA TREE FARMERS: TIME FOR A FIVE-YEAR INSPECTION?
The Florida Tree Farm Program requests that certified Tree farmers, who have been certified in the American Tree Farm System for five years, contact a Tree Farm inspector to have their Tree Farm reinspected. All Tree Farms must be inspected every five years in order to verify activity and maintain the credibility of the Program. We very much appreciate your help with the five-year inspection process and everything you do for forest stewardship in Florida.

Find your Tree Farm District Representative at https://www.treefarmsystem.org/about-fl

Your Florida Forest Service County Forester can help with the inspection as well. Find your County Forester at http://www.freshfromflorida.com/Divisions-Offices/Florida-Forest-Service/For-Landowners/County-Foresters


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 wlester@ufl.edu.

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:
https://www.facebook.com/groups/SouthernTreeHealthDiagnostics/

ONGOING SERVICES, INITIATIVES, PROGRAMS:
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FOREST STEWARDSHIP VIDEOS  - VIEW AND SHARE!
All the latest videos are on the Florida Forest Stewardship Program home page:
http://sfrc.ufl.edu/forest_stewardship

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:

UF/IFAS SCHOOL OF FOREST RESOURCES AND CONSERVATION EXTENSION PROGRAMS
See http://sfrc.ufl.edu/extension


FORESTRY AND NATURAL RESOURCES WEBINARS
For a calendar of upcoming webinars in a variety of land management topics see:
http://www.forestrywebinars.net/webinar-calendar/month#.T-zLkBhgZys.blogger


SOUTHERN REGION EXTENSION FORESTRY
See http://sref.info/ for the latest news, tools and offer