Friday, October 11, 2019

FLORIDA LAND STEWARD UPDATE 10/11/19


WORKING FORESTS WEEK IS OCTOBER 20-26, 2019
In recognition of the importance of working forests to the environment and economy of Florida, the third week of this month, October 20-26, 2019, is being celebrated across Florida as “Working Forests Week.” There are several events on the calendar that week and you can provide outreach to your audience of choice. Find materials and activities for people of all ages at the Florida Forestry Association's Working Forest Week web page:
http://floridaforest.org/programs/working-forests-week/


A LEGACY OF EXCELLENCE: RUSSELL BROTHERS FARM:
2019 FLORIDA OUTSTANDING TREE FARMERS OF THE YEAR
Russell Brothers Farm of Escambia County has received the distinction of the 2019 Florida Outstanding Tree Farmers of the Year. This annual award recognizes private landowners that have done a remarkable job of sustainably managing forests on their property. Russell Brothers Farm exemplifies a legacy of family forest managed not only for wood that may one day be harvested, but for water conservation, wildlife habitat and primarily to create a sense of place in honor of the Russell Family.

Join us for a tour of Russell Brothers Farm on October 25, 2019 (link to announcement).
This event is free but pre-registration is required. Call the Florida Forestry Association, (850) 222-5646 to reserve a space. The registration deadline is October 18.

Learn more about the landowners and property here:
https://flsteward.blogspot.com/2019/09/a-legacy-of-excellence-russell-brothers.html


HEALTHY FOREST RESERVE PROGRAM IN OCALA TO OSCEOLA (O2O) WILDLIFE CORRIDOR
Application Deadline is October 15, 2019
Landowners interested in managing their forested lands to benefit wildlife and imperiled species in the Ocala to Osceola Conservation Corridor (O2O), 1.6-million acres of public and private lands that connect the Ocala and Osceola National Forests. Landowners in the O2O region of Columbia, Baker, Union, Bradford, Clay, Putnam, Marion, and Lake counties are encouraged to apply for the Healthy Forests Reserve Program (HFRP)

HFRP is a Farm Bill program administered by USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). This program helps landowners restore, enhance and protect forestland resources through purchase of conservation easements and financial assistance for management activities. The purpose of HRFP is to help recovery of Federal and State imperiled species, improve plant and animal biodiversity, and enhance carbon sequestration.

Assistance includes payments to landowners to purchase perpetual conservation easements that limit specific land uses. NRCS will pay 100% of the value of conservation easement as determined by a qualified appraisal.  The program also offers cost-share payments for specific conservation actions for forestry and wildlife habitat management.  Participating landowners must agree to a restoration plan designed to benefit wildlife, imperiled species and ecosystem function.  NRCS will provide financial assistance for restoration costs.

For more information visit your local USDA Service Center to apply: https://www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/main/fl/contact/

Contacts:
Crenel Frances, Natural Resources Conservation Service:  crenel.francis@usda.gov, 352 338 9508.

Susan Carr, North Florida Land Trust
scarr@NFLT.org, 803 295 2229.


FUNDING AVAILABLE TO COVER CONSULTANT FOREST STEWARDSHIP MANAGEMENT PLAN PREPARATION
The Florida Forest Service has received funding to help cover the costs for private natural resource consultants to write Forest Stewardship plans covering hurricane resiliency and/or longleaf pine management. Eligible Stewardship plans must include information and recommendations related to: forest resilience and recovery following hurricanes, forest and landowner preparedness for hurricanes, and/or resources available to assist private forest landowners following hurricanes and/or longleaf pine establishment, restoration, improvement, and management for landowners with longleaf stands or those who want to establish longleaf pine on appropriate sites.

Compensation rates and additional information are provided in the Forest Stewardship Program Consultant Plan Preparation Agreement available at: https://forms.freshfromflorida.com/11268.pdf. This form also serves as the application for reimbursement. All applications that meet requirements as described above will be considered in the order in which they are received. Please contact Jennifer Tucker-Jenks at Jennifer.Tucker-Jenks@FreshFromFlorida.com or your county forester for more information. Find your county forester at https://www.freshfromflorida.com/CountyForester


PRESCRIBED BURN ASSISTANCE AVAILABLE FROM ATTACK-ONE FIRE MANAGEMENT SERVICES, TALL TIMBERS RESEARCH STATION, AND ALACHUA CONSERVATION TRUST
These organizations are available to meet onsite with landowners to discuss their goals and assist with prescribed burn prescription and implementation.

Attack-One Fire Management Services is funded to assist landowners in Suwanee, Lafayette, Taylor, Madison Counties, and west across the Panhandle, and throughout the state of Georgia. Attack-One can also assist landowners with current or former NRCS contracts if active gopher tortoise habitat is present. Contact Kevin Carter, kevin@attack-one.com, (850) 926-6534

Tall Timbers Research Station is now funded by a Longleaf Legacy Landscape project to provide fire consultation, planning, and implementation to private landowners in the Florida Panhandle from Pensacola to Lake City and in west Georgia as far north as the Chattahoochee Fall Line (Columbus, GA). Contact Jeremiah Cates, jcates@talltimbers.org, (850) 381-8707

Alachua Conservation Trust has a prescribed fire specialist available to assist private landowners with burn panning in Alachua, Putnam, Marion, Levy, Bradford, Clay and portions of Flagler, Volusia, Lake, Sumter, and Citrus Counties. Contact Barry Coulliette at act.barryc@gmail.com


FLORIDA FOREST SERVICE REQUIREMENTS FOR OPEN BURNING IN HURRICANE MICHAEL IMPACTED AREAS
Due to the massive amounts of tree debris on the ground throughout the area affected by Hurricane Michael, the FDACS Florida Forest Service has new requirements for open burning in Bay, Calhoun, Franklin, Gadsden, Gulf, Jackson, Liberty and Washington Counties. The Florida Forest Service created two geographical zones, primary and secondary, to identify hurricane-impacted areas with specific open burning requirements. Burning within the heavy impact zone will require pile burner certification. Details on the zones and requirements here.


ONGOING INITIATIVES / SERVICES / OPPORTUNTIES
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FLORIDA LAND STEWARD PARTNERS WEB MAP TOOL
Use this web tool to identify resources and assistance at a local watershed scale. The map is at this link: http://viewer.apps.pflcc.databasin.org/v1/index.html.



REPORT BOBWHITE QUAIL AND OTHER WILDLIFE SIGHTINGS
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:

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:

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?

    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.
    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.