Florida Land Steward Calendar and News

To sign up for biweekly email updates, which include the latest calendar of events, news and a link to the Florida Land Steward newsletter, send an email to cdemers@ufl.edu.

If you know of an event or news brief that should be included on this page please send an email with the name of the event, date, location, and contact phone or email to cdemers@ufl.edu.

Events

 

EAST FLORIDA (Madison County, east and south)
September 23 Watermelon Pond Bioblitz (link), Watermelon Pond Wildlife and Environmental Area, Watermelon Pond, 10700 SW 250 St, Newberry, FL 32669. Bioblitz = trying to find as many wildlife species as possible in a given amount of time. This will take place from 8:00 am – 1:00 pm, with an early bird experience from 7:00 am – 8:30 am to view burrowing owls and, possibly, Bachman’s sparrows. See link above for details and registration.
September 25- October 25 Natural Areas Training Academy: Collaborating to Manage Ecosystems (link), online and at Wekiva Springs State Park, Apopka, FL. This workshop will enhance skills in collaborating, demonstrate how and when to use working groups, and showcase successful examples of managing natural areas as part of the larger ecosystems surrounding them. Learn to work effectively in coordination with neighboring land owners, land managers, and other outside influences. See link above for details and registration. contact nata@ifas.ufl.edu for details.
September 26-27 Central Florida Agritourism Conference (link), LAST DAY TO REGISTER IS 9/22. UF/IFAS Polk County Extension Service, 1702 Hwy 17 S., Bartow, FL 33831. Join us for a Regional Agritourism conference, including informational presentations and farm tours! This event is for farmers considering or already pursuing agritourism, policy-makers, and businesses interested in developing cooperative efforts with agritourism operators. Registration closes 9/22. See link above for details and registration.
September 27 Certified Pile Burner Course (link), 8:30 am to 5:00 pm, UF/IFAS West Central Florida Agricultural Center, 7620 SR 471, Bushnell, FL 33513. This course allows landowners and producers to burn piles legally, safely and efficiently. When the weather is dry, certified pile burners will receive priority for authorization to burn. In addition, certified pile burners can burn up to two hours longer per day and get multiple authorizations. $50 fee includes lunch and materials. Please register ASAP as this class usually is to capacity by mid-August. All attendees must pre-register by September 15, 2017 in order to reserve your spot. See link above to register or call DarLinda Duteau of the UF/IFAS Extension Sumter County Office, 352-569-6865.
October 3 USDA Farm Bill Programs Meeting for Polk County (link), 10-11 am ET, Polk County Cooperative Extension Service Office-Brenneman Auditorium, 1702 Hwy 17 South (Spessard Holland Parkway) Bartow, FL 33830. USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service  (NRCS) and the Polk Soil and Water Conservation District working group will discuss resource conservation concerns and NRCS programs with local farmers, ranchers and forestland owners. See link above or Contact: Ed Sheehan at 863-533-2051 Ext 3.
October 13 Turpentining in Florida: Past, Present, Future? (link), 9:30 am to 3:30 pm, Austin Cary Forest, Gainesville, FL. The Association of Consulting Foresters, University of Florida, and Society of American Foresters are pleased to host a program on this important part of Florida’s past, present, and future. Includes tour of the new A. Chester Skinner Jr. Turpentine Education Site at the Forest. SAF CFEs approved. $15 fee covers program and lunch. Register at https://tinyurl.com/y9u2d9ze
October 15-18 Master Gardner Volunteer Training Conference (link), St. Johns County Convention Center at Renaissance World Golf Village, St. Augustine, FL. There will be 20 concurrent sessions to choose from in four different tracks covering general horticulture, gardening, diagnostics and Florida-Friendly Landscaping. See link above for details and registration.
October 18-19 Grass Identification Workshop, Florida Chapter of The Wildlife of The Wildlife Society (link), UF/IFAS Range Cattle REC, 3401 Experiment Station, Ona, FL 33865. This 2-day workshop will be taught by Brent Sellers and Greg Hendricks, and will include indoor and outdoor classroom exercises in identification and management of native and invasive grasses in Central Florida. Registration is $35.00 for FLTWS members, $15.00 for students, and $60.00 for non-members. Class size is limited so please register soon. The deadline for registration is October 11, 2017, but late registration may be allowed if slots are still available at a cost of $70.00.
October 19 Forest Stewardship Field Day: Forest Plant Identificaation (link), 9:00 am – 3:00 pm, ET Morningside Nature Center, 3540 East University Avenue, Gainesville, FL 32641. Join us to learn some strategies to help you identify trees, shrubs and herbaceous species. We will cover some basic skills and put them to work in the woods, identifying a sample of sandhill, flatwoods and swamp species in the field. See link above for details. $10 fee includes lunch and materials. Register on-line at https://fsp-workshop101917.eventbrite.com/. You can also reserve a space by contacting Chris Demers, cdemers@ufl.edu, (352) 846-2375.
October 20 2017 Florida Tree Farm of the Year Tour at Osceola Pines, property of John and Allison Nash, Levy County (link), 9 am ET, adjourn after lunch. Join us for a tour, lunch and awards ceremony John and Allison Nash's Osceola Pines property in Levy County. Learn about sustainable forest and wildlife habitat management and connect with the local and statewide professionals and resources that are available to assist in your land management. Most of the tour will involve riding in vans or open trailers with several discussion stops and a short walk or two. Contact Florida Forestry Association, (850) 222-5646, to sign up.
November 28 - December 2 FireVision 20/20: A 20 Year Reflection and Look into the Future: 7th International Fire Ecology & Management Congress (link), Buena Vista Palace Resort, Orlando, FL. This event will offer an exciting blend of learning opportunities for fire managers, natural resource professionals, policy and administrative leaders, and the academic and research community. Presentations will feature the latest in research results and applications. See link above for details and registration.

 

WEST FLORIDA (Jefferson County and west)
September 18-22 Big Bend Pesticide Training Series (link), UF/IFAS Leon County Extension Office. Registration is $10/session and refreshments will be provided. The different sessions serve as a review for the exam or are used to obtain CEUs. See link above for more information or pre-registration, or you can contact Mark Tancig at the Leon County Extension Office at (850) 606-5200.
September 28 Invasive Exotic Species and Control Workshop (pdf link), 9 am to 3 pm CT, UF/IFAS Okaloosa County Extension Office, Crestview, FL. Join us to learn about identifying and controlling some of the most troublesome invasive exotic plants like cogongrass, Japanese climbing fern and others. We’ll also address new and established exotic insects that are causing land management problems. Earn pesticide applicator CEUs and forestry CFEs and connect with partnership and assistance opportunities! Presented by the Six Rivers Cooperative Invasive Species Management Area and Florida Forest Stewardship Program. Register at https://fsp-workshop092817.eventbrite.com/. You can also reserve a space by contacting UF/IFAS Okaloosa County Extension at (850) 689-5850. Now approved for 5.0 FDACS CEUs (3.0 private applicator, natural areas weed mgmt., forest pest control, ROW; 2.0 CORE 487/482) and 4.0 Cat. 1 SAF CFEs.
October 5 Forest Stewardship Tour at David and Cindi Stewart's Sandhills Farm, Jackson County (pdf link), 9 am to 2 pm CT. Join us to learn about longleaf pine regeneration, prescribed fire, forest groundcover and habitat enhancements for a variety of wildlife species. Take this opportunity to meet your County Forester, UF/IFAS County Extension Agent, Landowner Assistance Biologists, and other resource partners that can provide management assistance, cost-share opportunities, forest certification and many other resources. $10 fee. Register at https://fsp-tour100517.eventbrite.com/ or contact UF/IFAS Jackson County Extension at (850) 482-9620. Please register by September 22 so we can plan accordingly. This will be a relatively short but scenic walking tour so please wear appropriate clothing and footwear for the field.
October 7 2017 UF/IFAS North Florida REC Art, Garden and Farm Family Festival (link), 9 am to 2 pm ET, UF/IFAS North Florida Research and Education Center, Quincy, FL. Free and open to the community, join us for a kids zone, pumpkin patch, trolley and walking tours, and concessions. See link above for details.

 

WEBINARS
September 26 Science & Technology Webinar: Enhanced Efficiency Fertilizers: Nitrification and Urease Inhibitors (link), 2 pm ET, see link for details and to join.
September 28 ProNR Forest Management Series Webinar: Green Value, A Tool for Simplified Financial Analysis of Forest-based Initiatives (link), 1 pm ET, see link for details and to join.
October 3 Science & Technology Webinar: Non-Ruminant Organic Livestock on Pasture (link), 3 pm ET, see link for details and to join.
October 4 Forestry Webinar: Fall Cankerworm Biology, Ecology, and Management in Urban and Rural Landscapes (link), 1 pm ET, see link for details and to join.
October 10 HIREDnAG Webinar: Connecting Health Insurance and Agricultural Viability—Helping Farmers and Ranchers Address Health-related Risks,
 1:30-3:30 ET, see link above for details and registration.
October 17 National Ecosystem Services Partnership Webinar: Ecosystem Services and National Forest Policy (link), 1:30 - 2:45 pm ET, see link for registration.
October 18 Wildlife Wednesday Webinar: This-or-That? Florida’s Birds (link), 12:15 to 1 pm ET, see link for details and registration.
October 31 Science & Technology Webinar: Restoring Native Plant Communities: Soil and Hydrology Suited Planning Tools (link), 2 pm ET, see link for details and to join.
November 15 Wildlife Wednesday Webinar: This-or-That? Florida’s Wildlife (link), 12:15 to 1 pm ET, see link for details and registration.


Timber Price Update


Timber Price Update, 2nd Qtr 2017

News Briefs


CURRENT AND BACK ISSUES OF THE FLORIDA LAND STEWARD NEWSLETTER ONLINE


CONGRATULATIONS JOHN AND ALLISON NASH: 2017 FLORIDA TREE FARMERS OF THE YEAR

John and Allison Nash are recognized for their outstanding forest stewardship and have been selected as Florida’s Outstanding Tree Farm of 2017. Their Osceola Pines property in Levy County was an active turpentine harvest in the late 1800’s, continuing until the 1920’s.The property was then managed for timber production and became a large lease hunting club. The Nash’s goal is to enjoy the property as a family retreat, and ensure future income from timber production. Their objectives are to optimize the production of wildlife, especially wild turkey, and integrate that with timber production. By staying focused on a long-term plan and seeking professional and financial assistance, they are realizing their goal. They joined the Florida Forestry Association to get connected to information and resources and have received technical and financial assistance from the National Wild Turkey Federation, Florida Forest Service, USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, and other partners.

Join us for a tour, lunch and awards ceremony on Friday, October 20, 2017 at Osceola Pines. Learn about sustainable forest and wildlife habitat management and connect with the local and statewide professionals and resources that are available to assist in your land management. Most of the tour will involve riding in vans or open trailers with several discussion stops and a short walk or two. Please wear appropriate clothing, footwear and bring rain gear in case of wet weather.

This event is free but pre-registration is required. Reserve a space by calling Whitney at the Florida Forestry Association, (850) 222-5646. Space will be limited and the registration deadline is October 13. More details are here.

ASSISTANCE HELPS FARMERS, RANCHERS, AND FOREST OWNERS TO CONSERVE NATURAL RESOURCES
Application deadline for financial assistance November 17
Florida farmers, ranchers and forest owners can apply until Nov. 17 for financial and technical assistance from USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) for fiscal year 2018 funding. Although applications are accepted on a continuous basis for all programs, funding selections are typically made once a year.

Through EQIP, agricultural landowners may receive financial and technical assistance to improve soil, water, air, plants, animals and related resources. Eligible land includes cropland, rangeland, pastureland, private non-industrial forestland and other farm or ranch lands. The application deadline also applies to the following EQIP-funded initiatives: Organic Producer Initiative, Seasonal High Tunnels, Energy Initiative, Pollinator Initiative, Everglades Initiative, Longleaf Pine Initiative, National Water Quality Initiative, Working Lands for Wildlife, Gulf of Mexico Initiative, and Strikeforce.

It all starts with a plan. Call or visit your local NRCS field office and request help in developing a conservation plan. To learn about technical and financial assistance available from NRCS, go to Getting Started with NRCS.

RESOURCES FOR STORM DAMAGE RECOVERY
The ProForest team has compiled a list of resources for storm damage preparedness and recovery. We hope these resources are useful for forest landowners and managers in the aftermath of Irma and to be prepared for future events:
http://proforesthealth.org/news/articles/resources-for-storm-damage-preparedness-and-recovery

FLORIDA PRESCRIBED FIRE COUNCIL MEETINGS COMING UP (link to more information)

  • Central Florida PFC, rescheduled to November 13, 2017,  Osceola Heritage Center, Kissimmee, FL, Meeting Registration
  • South Florida Fire PFC, October 24, 2017, Palm Beach County Vista Center – West Palm Beach, FL. Details to be posted at Florida Forest Service link above.
  • North Florida PFC, October 25, 2017, Theater Tallahassee, Tallahassee, FL. Details to be posted at Florida Forest Service link above.

SIGN UP FOR 2017 COGONGRASS TREATMENT COST-SHARE PROGRAM
Deadline extended for a limited time-
A Cogongrass Treatment Cost-Share Program is again offered to eligible non-industrial private landowners by the Florida Forest Service (FFS) through temporary grants from the USDA Forest Service. The primary objective of this program is to reduce the spread of cogongrass to new areas by helping private landowners control or eradicate existing infestations. Cogongrass (Imperata cylindrica L.) is a non-native, invasive grass that is established in Florida and several other southeastern states. In addition to being regulated as a state and federal noxious weed, cogongrass is a pest plant in 73 countries, and has been recognized as one of the “Top 10 Worst Weeds in the World.” Cogongrass infestations negatively affect tree regeneration, growth and survival, as well as wildlife habitat, native plant diversity, forage quality and property values. They also increase the risk of wildfires and alter fire behavior. See http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/wg202 for more information about this pest.

The Cost-Share Program offers reimbursement of up to 50% of the cost of herbicide treatment of cogongrass infestations on non-industrial private land for two consecutive years. The maximum reimbursement is $100 per year for treatment of up to one acre, and $75/acre per year for any additional area. There is no minimum size, and qualified applicants may apply to treat up to a maximum of 133 acres of infested area. Applications must be submitted through the County Forester where the property is located. For more information see the Program website at: http://www.freshfromflorida.com/Cogongrass-Program or contact your Florida Forest Service County Forester.

REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS FOR JOINT CHIEF'S LANDSCAPE RESTORATION PARTNERSHIP
Due October 17
The U.S. Forest Service and Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) are requesting
proposals for funding consideration in fiscal year (FY) 2018 within the Joint Chiefs' Landscape
Restoration Partnership (JCLRP). The intent of the partnership is to achieve measurable
objectives through restoration projects that coordinate conservation activities on public and
private lands. Projects funded will enable collaboration among the Forest Service, NRCS, and many local, non-governmental, Tribal, and individual landowner stakeholders. Request letter and proposal template here.

FLORIDA TREE FARMERS: TIME FOR A FIVE-YEAR INSPECTION?
The Florida Tree Farm Program requests that certified Tree farmers, who have been certified in the American Tree Farm System for five years, contact a Tree Farm inspector to have their Tree Farm reinspected. All Tree Farms must be inspected every five years in order to verify activity and maintain the credibility of the Program. We very much appreciate your help with the five-year inspection process and everything you do for forest stewardship in Florida..

Find your Tree Farm District Representative at https://www.treefarmsystem.org/about-fl

Your Florida Forest Service County Forester can help with the inspection as well. Find your County Forester at http://www.freshfromflorida.com/Divisions-Offices/Florida-Forest-Service/For-Landowners/County-Foresters   

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.

The FSA provides several types of farm loans. For more information on these opportunities, see the Florida FSA Website or contact your local FSA office to speak with a local representative

AIR POTATO PATROL CITIZEN SCIENCE PROJECT
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 wlester@ufl.edu.

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:
https://www.facebook.com/groups/SouthernTreeHealthDiagnostics/

FOREST STEWARDSHIP VIDEOS - VIEW AND SHARE!
All the latest videos are on the Florida Forest Stewardship Program home page:
http://sfrc.ufl.edu/forest_stewardship

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:

UF/IFAS SCHOOL OF FOREST RESOURCES AND CONSERVATION EXTENSION PROGRAMS
See http://sfrc.ufl.edu/extension

FORESTRY AND NATURAL RESOURCES WEBINARS
For a calendar of upcoming webinars in a variety of land management topics see:
http://www.forestrywebinars.net/webinar-calendar/month#.T-zLkBhgZys.blogger

SOUTHERN REGION EXTENSION FORESTRY
See http://sref.info/ for the latest news, tools and offerings.

SUPPORT FLORIDA'S FOREST STEWARDSHIP PROGRAM
Your contribution will help support Forest Stewardship Program outreach events across Florida. More information


Other Events Listings

Additional UF/IFAS Extension Events

UF/IFAS School of Forest Resources and Conservation Events

Florida Forest Service

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission

Southern Region Extension Forestry

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