South Prong Plantation is located at the headwaters of the South Prong of the St. Mary’s River in Baker County. Doug Moore, South Prong owner and manager, purchased this timberland in 2002 because it was close to their farm in Duval County, and most of all, because the property was diverse. South Prong Plantation encompasses over 2,400 acres of pine flatwoods, cypress swamps and hydric hammock that is home to a wide variety of wildlife. While the primary objective is managing for high-quality wildlife habitat, the plantation also produces timber and is a great example of integrating timber and wildlife habitat management, and prescribed fire is an important tool here. We will tour the property and recognize the Moore family on October 19. Stay tuned to updates for details.
More about Doug and Teresa Moore, and South Prong Plantation here
SAW PALMETTO ADDED TO FDACS COMMERCIALLY EXPLOITED PLANT LISTINGThe saw palmetto has been added to the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services' (DACS) commercially exploited plant list, which results in new requirements for the harvesting of saw palmetto berries. These new requirements took effect July 17, 2018.
Learn about the new harvesting requirements here.
INTERACTIVE MAP SHOWS ECONOMIC CONTRIBUTIONS OF THE FOREST INDUSTRY AND FOREST-BASED RECREATION IN FLORIDA IN 2016
This UF/IFAS study analyzed the economic contributions of the forest industry and forest-based recreation activities to the state of Florida in 2016.
AIR POTATO PATROL CITIZEN SCIENCE PROJECT
The Air Potato Patrol 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 email@example.com.
USE WEB MAP TOOL TO FIND RESOURCE INFORMATION AND ASSISTANCE AT THE WATERSHED SCALE
The Florida Land Steward Partnership continuously strives to provide better outreach and information on programs that can help landowners achieve their goals while improving the many environmental benefits they provide to society. To that end, the Partnership, in conjunction with the Peninsular Florida Landscape Conservation Cooperative (PFLCC), have launched a web-based map that allows landowners to identify specific programs available at the local level. The PFLCC website provides access to natural resource information, including an on-line, web tool that can be used to identify resources at a local watershed scale.
The map is at this link: http://viewer.apps.pflcc.databasin.org/v1/index.html.
More about this effort and how to use the tool here.
FLORIDA TREE FARM PROGRAM PREPARING FOR 2019 AUDIT
The Florida Tree Farm Program is preparing for a 2019 audit. The purpose of the audit is to verify that certified Tree Farms are compliant with the 2015-2020 Standards of Sustainability. The Program has been audited twice since 2010 without any issues. A relatively small sample of Tree Farms will be selected for the audit. The audit team will visit selected Tree Farms to review the landowners' management plans and conduct a brief interview. The inspector of the property and a Florida Tree Farm representative will accompany the auditor. We will begin the audit process in January 2019. Selected sample Tree Farm landowners will receive a phone call in early January 2019.
The Florida Tree Farm Program wants to make sure this audit goes well so it is extremely important for ALL certified Tree Farms in the state to have a current written management plan. Current means updated in the last 5 years. Contact your Florida Forest Service County Forester, consultant, or your Tree Farm District Representative if you need an update to your management plan, or if you have not been inspected since 2014.
Find your County Forester here.
Find your Tree Farm District Representative here.
2017-2018 ORGANIC CERTIFICATION COST SHARE PROGRAM
Florida Organic Growers (FOG), in cooperation with Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, is pleased to announce the 2017-2018 Organic Certification Cost Share Program. Certified organic operators in Florida can now apply for reimbursement of up to 75 percent of certification costs from October 1, 2017 to September 30, 2018, for a maximum of $750 per scope of certification. The deadline to apply is October 31st.
Please visit the FOG Cost Share webpage to learn more about the program, and how you can apply: http://www.foginfo.org/our-programs/cost-share/
If you have any questions regarding the program, please call Rylee Daddio at 352-231-7116
ONGOING INITIATIVES / SERVICES / OPPORTUNTIES
To help restore the state’s northern bobwhite quail populations, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) is asking private landowners to report sightings of bobwhite quail on their land. Report northern bobwhite quail sightings at MyFWC.com/QuailSighting
The FWC also seeks reports of these species:
- 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:
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 your 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:
FOREST STEWARDSHIP VIDEOS - VIEW AND SHARE!
All the latest videos are on the Florida Forest Stewardship Program home page:
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?
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.
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.