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 email@example.com.
2017 SOUTHERN PINE BEETLE ASSISTANCE AND PREVENTION PROGRAM
Apply by July 31, 2017
The Florida Forest Service has announced the 2017 Southern Pine Beetle Assistance and Prevention Program, offered to eligible non-industrial private forest landowners by the Florida Forest Service (FFS) through temporary grants from the USDA Forest Service.
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.
The program offers partial cost reimbursement or incentive payments for first pulpwood thinning, prescribed burning, planting longleaf and/or slash pine, and mechanical underbrush treatments. All payments are made at specified per-acre or per-seedling rates.
The program is limited to 44 northern Florida counties located within the range of the southern pine beetle. Qualified landowners may apply for up to two approved practices per year. The minimum tract size requirement is 10 acres (5 acres for a First Pulpwood Thinning) and funding requests may not exceed $10,000. Only one application per landowner is permitted per year. All applications received during the sign-up period will be evaluated and ranked to determine which applications can be approved with the available grant funds. Applications that meet all of the eligibility and program requirements will be evaluated for funding. Landowners with current, active Forest Stewardship Plans or Tree Farm Certification will receive a 15-point boost in their ranking score. Those with a consultant-prepared Multi-Resource Management Plan (MRMP) on file with the County Forester will receive a 10-point increase.
More details are on the 2017 SPB Program web page.
Contact your Florida Forest Service County Forester to apply.
JUNE IS NATIONAL POLLINATOR MONTH
Bees are our most important pollinators and there are over 4,000 native bee species in North America. Many are declining. Learn how your garden can support bees and other pollinators and join a national effort.
Information from UF/IFAS Extension about Florida native plants:
FLORIDA LAND STEWARD CALENDAR OF EVENTS
USDA FARM SERVICE AGENCY OFFERS WILDFIRE RECOVERY ASSISTANCE
USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) offers disaster assistance and low-interest loan programs to assist agricultural producers in their recovery efforts following wildfires or other qualifying natural disasters.
For more information on these programs, visit www.fsa.usda.gov/disaster or contact your local FSA office. To find the local FSA office, visit http://offices.usda.gov/.
FUNDING AVAILABLE FOR COGONGRASS CONTROL ON PRIVATE LANDS WITHIN APALACHICOLA WATERSHED
Funding is available from the US Fish and Wildlife Service Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program for invasive species control within the Apalachicola River watershed. Cogongrass on private lands in Gadsden and Liberty counties is highest priority for treatment. This is a 60% cost share. Contact Brian Pelc, The Nature Conservancy, (727) 515-8313, firstname.lastname@example.org.
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:
FLORIDA FOREST SERVICE RELEASES FIRE INFORMATION APP
Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Adam H. Putnam and the Florida Forest Service have announced the release of “FLBurnTools,” a new mobile app to inform the public about drought, wildfire danger and wildfire activity. Prescribed burn practitioners can also use the app to plan and submit authorization requests.
ONGOING SERVICES, INITIATIVES, PROGRAMS:
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?
FWC REQUESTS REPORTS OF WILDLIFE SIGHTINGS:
- 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:
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 offer