|A University of Florida Cooperative Extension
Service and Florida Division of Forestry joint project:
Chris Demers (editor), School of Forest Resources
& Conservation, UF, P.O. Box 110410, Gainesville, FL 32611-0410,
(352) 846-2375 or firstname.lastname@example.org
|Memorial Day weekend marked the unofficial start of the summer season.
Thanks to the recent return of afternoon rains, we may not have the wildfire
danger we were all too familiar with last year. With the summer season
come some changes in the UF Forestry Extension Team. Assistant Professor
Michael Jacobson has moved to Penn State University. We wish him
the best of luck in his new position. Also, Chris Latt, former Forest
Stewardship Coordinator and editor of the Florida Forest Steward, has taken
an urban forestry job in Atlanta. Chris Demers, who just received
his Masters degree in the School of Forest Resources and Conservation at
the University of Florida, has assumed the Forest Stewardship Coordinator
position. As part of Chris' graduate study in forestry extension,
he created the Florida Forestry Information web site, which you can find
on-line at: http://www.sfrc.ufl.edu/Extension/ffws/ffwshome.htm.
If you have questions, suggestions or comments contact Chris at email@example.com
The first half of this newsletter will describe the results of a survey we sent to most of the participants in the Florida Forest Stewardship Program. Your responses will help us focus on improvements in the program and provide us with a better understanding of landowners' needs and interests. The second half will include some information from the USDA National Agroforestry Center on trees and wildlife, an introduction to the Sherman's fox squirrel, and the latest timber price update.
|Stewardship Survey Summary|
|We have just finished analyzing your responses to the Survey of Participants
in the Florida Forest Stewardship Program. Of the 1,058 surveys sent,
289 (27%) were returned. We certainly appreciate the time you committed
to thoughtfully answering the survey questions.
There also seems to be some confusion about the Program with respect to what it does and does not provide. Some participants are not aware of how to get help or what to expect from the Program. Some feelings of inequity, with regard to how cost-share money is allocated, are also evident. In addition to providing an unambiguous description of the Program, it seems that we need to clarify the process - how priorities are set and how money is distributed.
Participation in the Program
Forest Stewardship Workshops and Publications
Views about the Forest Stewardship Program
From a list of possible changes in the program, respondents favored
(in order of decreasing frequency): more experienced personnel and follow-up,
more money available for SIP cost-shares, easier application/approval process,
more encouragement of wildlife and longleaf pine management, more educational
seminars, increase timber market/economic information, better communication
between program coordinators and participants, and better cooperation between
|Working Trees for Wildlife|
||If you have part of your land dedicated to agricultural production,
you know that providing quality wildlife habitat in an agricultural setting
can be a challenge. However, by combining forestry and agricultural
practices you can provide a more wildlife-friendly agroforestry system.
Windbreaks, riparian buffers, forest farming, alley cropping, and silvopasture
can protect crops and livestock, provide new sources of income, and create
or improve wildlife habitat.
"Working trees" are strategically planted trees and shrubs, which provide much-needed cover for nesting, roosting, loafing, brood rearing, and escape from weather and predators. They also provide wildlife food in the form of nuts, berries, drupes, sprouts, and other mast. The following suggestions were provided by the USDA National Agroforestry Center's publication, "Working Trees for Wildlife."
Small rodents and certain birds that feed on crops can be problems in these systems. Providing habitat for predators such as foxes, hawks, owls, and bats may help control pest populations. In addition to encouraging predators, planting good food sources away from your specialty crop could distract nuisance wildlife. Depending on the understory crop, fencing may also be necessary to protect it from pests such as turkey, deer and small rodents.
Placement Within the Landscape
Diversity of Vegetation
For assistance with planning, design, application, and maintenance of working trees on your property, contact your local Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission office, Division of Forestry, County Extension Office, or a USDA Service Center.
You can also contact the USDA National Agroforestry Center (NAC) for
more information: USDA National Agroforestry Center, East Campus - UNL,
Lincoln, Nebraska 68583-0822, (402) 437-5178.
|Sherman's Fox Squirrel|
||Florida is blessed with a wide array of interesting wildlife species
such as the manatee, the American alligator, the gopher tortoise and the
burrowing owl. One species that is just as interesting but not as well
known is the Sherman's fox squirrel.
The Sherman's fox squirrel is one of 3 varieties of fox squirrels found in the state. It ranges from Okaloosa County south to Lee County. Adult Sherman's average 24 inches in length and weigh 2 to 2 ½ pounds, making it the largest tree squirrel in North America. Coat colors are variable, ranging from beige to rusty to black. The crown of the head is usually black, and the nose and ears are white.
Fox squirrels live in colonies. The number of animals in a colony depends on the habitat available, but most habitat supports a density of one fox squirrel per 20-35 acres. They are wide ranging animals – male home ranges average 200 acres, females average 80 acres. Adult females are territorial towards other females, such that each female occupies a territory that is exclusively hers. Males are not territorial, and are free to range across the territories of females.
Breeding seasons occur in winter and summer. Females are capable of producing 2 litters per year, although most only breed once per year. Litter size ranges from 1-4. Most litters are born in leaf nests, although females occasionally nest in tree cavities. The young leave home when they are about 8 months old. Some travel up to 5 miles before settling in their own home range.
Acorns, pine seeds, and mushrooms are dietary staples. Fox squirrels frequently forage on the ground, digging for mushrooms and buried acorns. They prefer woods with open, low-growing groundcover and an open canopy of seed bearing pines and oaks. Occupied habitat includes sandhills, frequently burned flatwoods, golf courses, and cattle ranches.
Sherman's fox squirrels are rare because of habitat loss to short rotation pine stands, urban development, and land clearing for farms. They are listed by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission as a species of special concern, and they are protected from hunting.
Contributed by: Daniel S. Coggin, M.S., Wildlife Biologist/Forest Stewardship Program, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission; & John Wooding, Ph.D., Certified Wildlife Biologist, Coastal Plain Wildlife
|Timber Price Update|
|The 1st quarter 1999 Timber-Mart South report for Florida listed average
stumpage prices as $33/cord for pine pulpwood, $82/cord for pine C-N-S,
$96/cord for pine sawtimber, and $105/cord for pine plylogs. Prices
were down slightly, up slightly, down, and down for the four products,
respectively, compared to fourth quarter 1998 prices. Hardwood pulpwood
averaged $16/cord, which was up from the previous quarter. Stumpage
prices are highly variable and the actual price for a particular timber
sale can be affected by characteristics such as tract size, timber density,
access, proximity to operating mills, and weather. A more complete
summary of 1st quarter stumpage prices is available at your County Extension
Office. To determine current prices in your area, your best source
of information will be forestry consultants and timber companies that conduct
timber sales in your area.
Click on the link below to see the graph - use the "Back" function to
|Regeneration and Establishment of Longleaf Pine
August 10: Baker County Extension Office in MacClenny
August 12: Washington County Extension Office in Chipley
· This workshop will address the requirements of successful natural and artificial regeneration of longleaf pine stands, and their management during the first few years after establishment.
Estate Planning for Forestland Owners
If you are interested in attending these workshops, please call Chris Demers at 352-846-2375. Hope to see you there.