Get the latest in applied fire science! In this issue: Is Prescribed Fire Good for Sequestering Carbon?, New Research and Technology Projects, Upcoming SFE Workshops, Upcoming Webinars, Recent Webinar Recordings, and much more.
See the June-July Fire Lines Newsletter for this and back issues, and to subscribe to the Fire Lines email newsletter.
Several local and federal agencies took an important step in protecting Florida's natural resources by releasing an insect reared to combat the invasive Brazilian peppertree. The insects, known as thrips, were reared as part of a joint partnership between the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD), the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), Florida Department of Environmental Protection, the National Park Service, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) and the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) to combat invasive plants in South Florida's ecosystem.
At the July 16 event, officials released dozens of vials containing thrips (Pseudophilothrips ichini) insects that are native to Brazil and feed on the Brazilian peppertree. Officials anticipate this insect will reduce the growth of this invasive plant by 80 percent without negatively impacting native Florida plants and wildlife.
For more information see the July 16 South FL WMD news release about the event and project.
SIGN UP OPEN FOR 2019 SOUTHERN PINE BEETLE ASSISTANCE AND PREVENTION PROGRAM
Sign up open through August 16, 2019
The Southern Pine Beetle Assistance and Prevention Program is offered to eligible non-industrial private forest landowners by the Florida Forest Service (FFS) through temporary grants from the USDA Forest Service.
Periodic southern pine beetle (SPB) outbreaks in Florida have resulted in millions of cubic feet of pine timber killed on thousands of acres. 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.
For more information and to apply for the program, landowners can find details and download application documents from the SPB Prevention Program web page or from their Florida Forest Service County Forester.
SIGN UP OPEN FOR THE LONGLEAF PINE LANDOWNER INCENTIVE PROGRAM
Sign up open through August 2, 2019, 5:00 pm
The Florida Forest Service is providing the Longleaf Pine Private Landowner Incentive Program for 2019 in partnership with the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation. This program aims to enhance longleaf pine ecosystems in Florida by helping private landowners to establish, restore, and maintain longleaf pine forests through technical guidance and incentive payments. The program offers incentive payments for longleaf pine seedling establishment, timber stand improvement, prescribed burning, native plant understory establishment, mechanical underbrush treatments, and invasive plant treatment.
Information for the 2019 application period is available on the Florida Forest Service’s Longleaf Pine Private Landowner Incentive Program website at https://www.freshfromflorida.com/Divisions-Offices/Florida-Forest-Service/For-Landowners/Programs/Longleaf-Pine-Private-Landowner-Incentive-Program. Visit the website to learn more about available practices, program requirements, and payment rates. Contact Jen Tucker-Jenks at Jennifer.Tucker-Jenks@FreshFromFlorida.com or your Florida Forest Service county forester for more information. Find your county forester at https://www.freshfromflorida.com/CountyForester.
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 WILDLAND RESTORATION INTERNATIONAL, ATTACK-ONE FIRE MANAGEMENT SERVICES, TALL TIMBERS RESEARCH STATION, AND ALACHUA CONSERVATION TRUST
Wildland Restoration International (WRI) and Attack-One Fire Management Services are providing prescribed burn assistance to landowners participating in USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) cost share programs. These organization has been awarded funding from the Endowment for Forestry and Communities to help landowners implement prescribed burning practices funded by the NRCS. Representatives from these organizations are available to meet onsite with landowners to discuss their goals and assist with prescribed burn prescription and implementation.
WRI is funded to assist landowners in all counties east and south of Hamilton, Columbia, Gilchrist, and Dixie, extending down through the whole peninsula, excluding Monroe and Miami-Dade counties. Landowners in these counties, with a NRCS contract that includes prescribed burning, are encouraged to contact Ryan Kennelly, WRI Fire Program Coordinator, firstname.lastname@example.org, (352) 373-0550
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, email@example.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 Matt Snider, firstname.lastname@example.org, (912) 704-5732.
Alachua Conservation Trust has a prescribed fire specialist available to assist private landowners with burn planning in Alachua, Putnam, Marion, Levy, Bradford, Clay and portions of Flagler, Volusia, Lake, Sumter, and Citrus Counties. Contact Barry Coulliette at email@example.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
FLORIDA LAND STEWARD PARTNERS WEB MAP TOOL
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:
- 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?
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
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.