Cathy Hardin, 2019 Florida Tree Farm Inspector
of the Year with Florida Forest Service
Director Jim Karels (left) and Florida
Tree Farm Program President Stephen Lloyd
Cathy Hardin, Florida Forest Service county forester serving Escambia County, is recognized for her excellent service to private forest landowners, the Florida Tree Farm Program and the American Tree Farm System. Cathy started her county forester and Tree Farm inspector career around 2010. During her tenure in these roles, she has completed a total of 76 Tree Farm inspections and has authored more than 25 management plans for landowners who have achieved certification in the American Tree Farm System. She has also been active in enrolling private forest landowners in the new Landscape Management Plan that is now established and operating in her Northwest Florida district, with eight landowners benefiting from the new plan and service format.
On behalf of the leadership and everyone involved in the Florida Tree Farm Program, we recognize and congratulate Cathy Hardin on all her accomplishments thus far and being awarded the 2019 Florida Outstanding Tree Farm Inspector. Cathy was recognized at the tour and awards ceremony held last week at Russell Brothers Farm, the 2019 Florida Outstanding Tree Farmer of the Year.
John Russell (center) and nephew Wade (left)
receiving the award from Florida
Tree Farm Program President Stephen Lloyd
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.
Learn more about the landowners and property here: https://flsteward.blogspot.com/2019/09/a-legacy-of-excellence-russell-brothers.html
FLORIDA PROJECT LEARNING TREE PARTNERS WITH FOREST LANDOWNERS
This fall, two forest landowners generously hosted Project learning Tree (PLT) professional development trainings. Ben and Louann Williams, Wetland Preserve, LLC (Putnam County) and Ken and Lynetta Griner, Usher Land and Timber (Levy County) provided unique opportunities for educators to explore and learn about working forests while experiencing PLT’s hands-on activities that can be integrated into classrooms to teach youth about trees, forests, and the environment.. See photos from these events on the Florida Land Steward news blog.
If you are interested in hosting a PLT training on your property contact Elise Cassie, email@example.com.
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, firstname.lastname@example.org, (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, email@example.com, (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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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.