Volume 3, No. 2
Summer, 1995

In this issue:


Greetings

We hope you have all been having a fine summer. "Good Lord willin' and the creek don't rise", we'll have the newsletter back on schedule soon. We plan to have this year's issue number three ready by mid-October. We have much good information that's been sent to us or that we've found in natural resources journals, the general media, and our first-hand observations in the woods. We will continue to do our best to make interesting and useful newsletters from the abundant raw material.


Annual Florida Forest Stewardship Report

During fiscal year '94-95, Forest Stewardship Management Plans (FSMPs) were completed and approved for one hundred sixty-eight (168) private, non-industrial forest landowners. A total of 545 Florida landowners with 241,000 acres of forested land now (as of July 1, 1995) have approved FSMPs. For each of the next five years, Florida's goal is for 200 more landowners to receive approved FSMPs.

Florida now has 63 landowners, with forested holdings totalling 52,704 acres, who are nationally recognized as "Forest Stewards". Nineteen of them, with 9,000 acres, achieved that status during the '94-95 year. Florida's yearly goal through June, 2001 is for 25 landowners to gain national certification as "Forest Stewards".

Congratulations, Barry Coulliette of Nassau County and John Folker, Five-Mile Farm, and the Bailey Brothers of Levy County for achieving Stewardship Forest certification since the last newsletter!

Many of the roughly 350 landowners with approved FSMPs prior to this year were involved in the implementation of their plans, often with the assistance of natural resource professionals. It is exciting to see the multiple-use forestry concept make its way from thoughtful plans to reality in the woods.

[TOP]


Streamlined Stewardship Plan Procedures

From the beginning of the Stewardship Program, we have tried to provide each landowner with a comprehensive, multiple resource management plan designed especially for their property and management goals. Landowners have spoken favorably about the quality of the information in their plans, but have also asked us to find ways to reduce the time it takes to complete a plan.

In response, we have reduced the number of resource specialists involved in preparing the plan and the number of steps in the review process leading to a finalized plan. The DOF County Forester, GFC Biologist, and private resource consultant (if the landowner wishes) will still contribute to each plan. Other specialists, such as a fisheries biologist, soil conservationist, or range specialist, can also contribute, if requested by the landowner.

"Now that my plan is finished, where do I go from here?" Now available from the county foresters is a new pamphlet, "Your Forest Stewardship Management Plan", which may help landowners answer that frequently-asked question. The pamphlet summarizes the plan preparation procedure and provides guidance on how to begin implementing the recommended practices.

In a related matter, we are interested in your opinions about landowners being more directly involved in the preparation of their stewardship management plans. Several states currently utilize this approach; they provide workshops on management plan format and preparation and still include review of plans by various agencies prior to approval. However, the landowner has primary responsibility for preparing the plan.

[TOP]


SIP Funding Update

As of late July, SIP appropriations had been deleted from the initial House budget. FIP and ACP funding are similarly on very rocky ground. Contact your Congressional representatives soon if you want to express an opinion concerning the future of these programs.

Landowners who have 1,000 or more acres are now eligible for cost-sharing funds for having private consultants prepare their Stewardship Plans. The maximum per landowner is $1975.


Upcoming Training Opportunities

The Florida Forestry Association (FFA) has scheduled several continuing education seminars in the
next few weeks:
Date
Sept 21
Sept 26
Sept 28
Sept 28-29
Oct 2,4,6
Oct 17-19
Nov 2
Time
8:00 AM
8:30 AM
8:30 AM
8:00 AM

8:00 AM
Topic
Forest Management on Private Lands
Herbicides in Forestry
Herbicides in Forestry
Advanced Negotiating Seminar
Estate Planning (Dr. Harry Haney)
Master Logger
Communication Conflicts
Location
Austin Cary Forest
Quincy
East Palatka
Panama City Beach
Tallahassee, Ocala, Jacksonville
Cantonment
Lake City Community College
If you would like to participate in any of these sessions please contact the FFA:

Florida Forestry Association, P.O. Box 1696, Tallahassee, Florida 32302, tel (904) 222-5646

[TOP]


Paul Campbell Joins Forestry Extension at the UF

Paul Campbell has just taken over primary responsibility for the newsletter and the other Stewardship work done by the University of Florida. Alan Long is back to a full schedule of teaching at UF but will remain active in the Stewardship program.

Paul was trained in forestry at North Carolina State University. He got his feet wet in North American forestry loading short pulpwood onto railroad cars, interning with a commercial forestry operation in eastern North Carolina, doing a stint as a seasonal worker for the US Forest Service "out west", and being taught a thing or two by a savvy North Carolina consulting forester. Mr. Campbell then spent seven years working with agroforestry programs to assist small farmers in Haiti, a mountainous, impoverished Caribbean nation, and Mali, in West Africa. He recently completed a graduate degree in forestry at UF. Paul is looking forward to learning more about the wise management of Florida's woods, waters, and wildlife from the world's foremost experts...you.

If Paul starts writing about the importance of seed pods of Faidherbia albida * as livestock feed in the dry season, or asks how much natural regeneration of Swietenia mahagoni * is coming up on the steep, rocky mountainside farm plots where you like to grow beans, please get in touch with him and remind him this is Florida!

* Faidherbia albida is a valuable multipurpose, nitrogen-fixing farm tree of the semi-arid regions of West Africa.

* Swietenia mahagoni , native to Haiti (also to south Florida) produces one of the world's most prized furniture woods.

Faidherbia albida over maize and sorghum with baskets of seed
pods in foreground

[TOP]


Migratory Birds

Conservation and stewardship issues sometimes require management and cooperation beyond the boundaries of one landowner's property, or even of one country. Many avian visitors to private non-industrial forest lands in the US spend part of the year in South or Central America or the Caribbean. These birds' survival depends on wise management of forests and wetlands along their lengthy flight paths.

If you'd like to know more about these marathon flyers and what you can do to provide habitat for them, the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center offers several informative publications at reasonable prices. A publications list--including a list of free fact sheets--is available from the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center; c/o The National Zoo; Washington, DC 20008.


Vegetation Management

The term, "Forest Vegetation Management", refers to the control of some plants to encourage growth of more desirable plants. It is done to help achieve the landowner's management objectives. Many private forest landowners in the southeastern United States manage their woodlands primarily for timber production. In most cases, pines are the main timber crop trees. However, if recent increases in hardwood stumpage continue, we may see a trend toward less intensive control of hardwoods in pine stands; we may even come to think of hardwoods more as crop trees than weeds.

Control of other plants growing in the pine stands can have several benefits:

Landowners who manage their forest lands for multiple uses may apply other vegetation management measures, such as:

Remember, vegetation management can give the desired results only if it is properly coordinated with other activities, such as planting, thinning, and timing of final harvest, as laid out in an overall management plan.

The main vegetation management tools are fire, herbicides, tracked or wheeled machinery, and hand tools.


! Herbicide Workshop Notice !

Are you looking for more detailed information on herbicide use?
"Herbicides in Forestry"  workshops will be held Tues, Sept 26
at FAMU in Quincy and Thurs, Sept 28 at the Putnam Co.
Agricultural Extension Center.  Topics will include:


Why Use Herbicides?
Herbicide Characteristics
Application Methods
Common Prescriptions
Economic Case Studies

If you have not already received an "invitation" in the mail and
you want to attend, please call Paul Campbell at (904) 846-0898


Fire is the least expensive. But, it requires careful consideration of weather conditions and the smoke produced can be unwelcome in populated areas. Understory control in established pine stands is usually best done using prescribed fire, although herbicides are sometimes used. Mechanical treatments do the most thorough job of site preparation, but have some disadvantages.

For the following reasons, herbicides have become the preferred vegetation control tool on many kinds of tracts:

  1. Costs are lower and control of competing vegetation lasts longer compared to intensive mechanical site preparation.
  2. Problems of site preparation using heavy machinery--soil compaction, erosion, removal of topsoil, windrows reducing useable land area--are avoided.
  3. Less logging debris is left on most sites, compared to the past, and greater availability of v-blade rigs or competent hand-planting crews has reduced the need for heavy machinery to prepare sites.
  4. Choice of herbicide formulations and application equipment gives versatility to tailor treatments to specific site conditions or to use in either site preparation or "release" operations. Selective herbicides kill some kinds of plants without seriously damaging others.

Herbicides offer the advantages of low toxicity to humans and animals and minimum negative effects on soil, air, and water IF THEY ARE USED ACCORDING TO INSTRUCTIONS. ALWAYS READ AND FOLLOW HERBICIDE LABELS. Planning and supervision of chemical vegetation management should be done by someone experienced in using herbicides on similar lands. These are highly useful tools but considerable skill and knowledge is needed to safely, and at the lowest possible cost, achieve the desired results.

Stand establishment is usually the time of greatest investment in vegetation management. Some landowners are reluctant to invest money in trees that will not produce income right away. But one of the fundamentals of sound forest management is the need to invest a portion of timber sale income in establishing new stands of crop trees. On most tracts, pre-planting measures to control competing vegetation are a key part of this investment. "Release" treatments with herbicides during the first few years after planting are sometimes also called for.

The landowner's objectives and resources, and the condition of the site to be treated, indicate which vegetation management measures are most suitable. There are general vegetation management prescriptions for each of the three major site types of commercial forest land in Florida: uplands, flatwoods, and sandhills. These prescriptions can be modified to fit the particulars of a given tract.

If two landowners have similar cutover sites, one might opt for intensive vegetation control to achieve very rapid crop tree growth and early harvest. The other might choose lower cost stand establishment measures, including vegetation management, despite slower growth of the crop trees and a longer wait until harvest. Either approach is right as long as the results meet that landowner's objectives at acceptable cost.

Landowners and natural resource professionals have been requesting information regarding herbicide use. A new Stewardship publication "Vegetation Management in Florida's Private Non-Industrial Forests", is now available at County Extension offices or by calling the U.F. Forestry Extension office at (904) 846-0849. It includes a general discussion of herbicide use in Florida forestry.

[TOP]


Parting Remarks

We're all part of nature and we depend on and participate in the cycling of energy and materials in earth's natural systems. In trees (and other green plants), evaporation through the surface of the leaves helps to "pull" water up from the ground through the plants' tiny tubes. Without evaporation the leaves would not have water. Without water, the leaves could not carry out photosynthesis, the process by which plants store the sun's energy in chemical compounds--sugars--that are the basic energy source (food) for most living things. And, without evaporative cooling, the leaves would often be too hot to function. No evaporation, no food, at least not from the land plants that are our main sources of it. Not to mention that the shade of a tree is so inviting partly because evaporation cools the shade-casting leaves themselves.

Evaporation helps planet earth cool itself. As moisture evaporates from the earth's surface, it absorbs heat, which is released higher in the atmosphere when water vapor condenses to form rain. From the higher altitude the heat can more easily re-radiate into space. Evaporation is also key to heat transfer between regions and moderation of extremes of heat and cold.

Water, other materials, and energy constantly circulate among seas, streams, wetlands, the air, and every living thing. Pondering that, one might begin to see that it is not so easy to say where this organism ends and that one begins, or to clearly distinguish between "living" and "non-living" things. One might see why some have come to think of planet earth as one living organism, a single, giant, miraculous cell. The natural processes that go on around us every day are amazing.

Enough, fellow philosophers, time to bring ourselves back to practical matters--like timber markets...

[TOP]


Timber Mart-South Summary

The information in the following table was extracted from the Timber Mart-south second quarter report, released in early July. This information, compiled from many sources, is very useful for observing trends over time, but may not necessarily reflect current conditions at a particular location. During the second quarter, prices in almost all categories remained substantially higher than they were a year ago. Average prices for chip-n-saw, power poles, and hardwood pulpwood increased over last quarter.

In addition to general market conditions, prices vary from sale to sale depending on tract size and access; quality, quantity, and size of timber; distance to mills; and other market conditions. If you are considering a timber sale, you would be wise to let a consulting forester help you obtain the best current prices.

Stumpage Prices, 1995, 2 nd Quarter
(from Timber Mart-South)

                Product                       Region              Average            Range                  $/Ton        
Pine Pulpwood
($/Std. Cord)
Northeast(1)
Northwest(2)
Average
$ 41
$ 37
$ 39
$ 33-50
$ 28-45



$15

Chip-n-Saw
($/Std. Cord)
Northeast(1)
Northwest(2)
Average
$ 79
$ 70
$ 75
$ 63-95
$ 59-81



$28

Pine Sawtimber
($/MBF Scrib.)
Northeast(1)
Northwest(2)
Average
$296
$310
$303
$257-335
$248-371



$40

Oak Sawtimber
($/MBF Doyle)
Northeast(1)
Northwest(2)
Average
$ 75
$131
$103
$ 61- 89
$ 81-181



$15

Mixed Hardwood
($/MBF Doyle)
Northeast(1)
Northwest(2)
Average
$122
$170
$146
$ 93-151
$155-185



$17

Pine Plylogs
($/MBF Scrib.)
Northeast(1)
Northwest(2)
Average
$232
$315
$273
$225-238
$280-350



$37

Power Poles
($/MBF Scrib.)
Northeast(1)
Northwest(2)
Average
$374
$384
$379
$338-410
$362-406



$51

Hardwood
($/Std. Cord)
Northeast(1)
Northwest(2)
Average
$ 16
$ 17
$ 16
$ 15-18
$ 12-22



$ 6

[TOP]             [FFS Newsletter Homepage]

A University of Florida Cooperative Extension Sevice and Florida Division of Forestry joint project:

Paul Campbell (editor), School of Forest Resources & Conservation, UF, P.O. Box 110420, Gainesville, FL  32611-0420  Tel:  (352)-846-0898
Alan Long (co-editor), School of Forest Resources & Conservation, UF
Charles Marcus (co-editor), Florida Division of Forestry, 3125 Conner Blvd, Tallahassee, FL  32699-1650