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)
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 to 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. THIS EVENT IS FULL AND REGISTRATION IS NOW CLOSED.
October 25 Certified Pile Burner Course (link), 8:30 am to 4:30 pm, UF/IFAS Madison County Extension Office, 184 NW College Loop, Madison, FL 32340. 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. Contact Dan Fenneman, dfenneman@ufl.edu, 850-973-4138
October 26 2017 Cool Season Forage Workshop (link), 6-9 pm, UF/IFAS Suwannee Valley Agriculture Education Center, 8202 County Road 417, Live Oak, FL, 32060. Tickets are $15 for early registation and $25 at the door. See link above for details and registration. For questions call Jane Griffin (386) 362-2771.
October 26 Allison Acres - Exceptional Organic Blueberries (link), 9 am to 1 pm, Allison Acres, 4336 NE Hwy 159, Pinetta, FL 32350. Provided by Florida Organic Growers. Details and registration linked above.
October 28 J.W. Corbett Wildlife Management Area Bioblitz (link), 8:00 am to 1:00 pm ET. J.W. Corbett Wildlife Management Area, Everglades Youth Conservation Center, 12100 Seminole Pratt Whitney Rd., West Palm Beach, FL 33412. Bioblitz = trying to find as many plant and animal species as possible in a given amount of time. You will go out into the field with experts to locate and identify species in a variety of habitats. See link above for details and registration.
November 6-7 Fruit Crop Management Short Course (link), UF/IFAS Citrus Research and Education Center, 700 Experiment Station Road, Lake Alfred, FL 33850. The Course will cover crop management topics such as flowering, dormancy, irrigation, nutrition, fruit set, and more. Speakers are experts from Florida and across the nation. See link above for details.
November 9 CEU Day, Osceola County (link), 8:00 am – 3:00 pm ET, UF/IFAS Extension Osceola County, Osceola Heritage Park, 1921 Kissimmee Valley Lane, Kissimmee, FL. Deadline to receive pre-registration discount is Nov. 2nd. For more information contact the Extension Office at (321) 697-3000.
November 15 Florida Tree Farm Tour: Managing Pine Forests for Multiple Goals, Pinkoson Property, Alachua County (link), 9:30 am to 1 pm. This tour will feature premier longleaf pine forest habitat with a rich groundcover, demonstrations of management activities to improve pine forests, and discussions about wildlife habitat enhancement, sources of assistance and forest certification. Join us to explore the possibilities upland pine forest management has to offer, 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. See link above for details. Reserve a space by contacting Dave Conser, Dave.Conser@FreshFromFlorida.com, (352) 395-4927.
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)
October 19 Working Forests Workshop (pdf link), 9:30 am – 2:00 pm CT, UF/IFAS Jackson County Agriculture Conference Center, 2741 Pennsylvania Ave, Suite 3, Marianna, FL 32448. In conjunction with the National Working Forests Awareness Week, the Florida Forest Service Chipola District will host a workshop for Tree Farmers, forest landowners, and forestry and natural resource professionals. The workshop will focus on forestry related programs. The program will include a visit one or more forest product mills in the area. Details and registration at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/working-forests-work-workshop-forest-product-mill-tours-tickets-38584170292 or contact Hannah Bowers, (850) 625-6621, Hannah.Bowers@FreshFromFlorida.com
October 19 Duff Fire Science and Management Workshop (link), 8:30 am to 3:30 pm, FSU Marine Lab. St. Teresa, FL. Join us to bridge the gap between science and management when it comes to issues related to duff fires in southeastern upland ecosystems. Presentations will include the latest science and management information related to pine mortality associated with fires in sites with heavy duff loads. See link for details and registration.
October 20 Tree Farm Workshop: Forestry 101 (pdf link), 8:30 am to 1:30 pm CT, Pace Community Center, 5976 Chumuckla Highway, Pace, FL 32571. Lunch will be provided. Contact Cathy Hardin, (850) 587-5237, Cathy.Hardin@FreshFromFlorida.com for details and registration.

 

WEBINARS
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.
November 15 Natural Resource Webinar: Development of Focal Point Seed Zones for the Present and Future (link), 11 am ET, see link for details and to join.


Timber Price Update


Timber Price Update, 2nd Qtr 2017

News Briefs


CURRENT AND BACK ISSUES OF THE FLORIDA LAND STEWARD NEWSLETTER ONLINE

WORKING FORESTS WEEK - OCTOBER 16-20
This week is recognized across Florida as Working Forests Week. Throughout the state folks involved with forest management and the timber industry are reaching out to citizens, students, teachers, and others to broaden their awareness of the importance of trees and forests, and how they provide us with shelter, food, fiber, wildlife habitat, clean water, beautiful landscapes, shade, and hundreds of things we use every day. Hats off to the forest managers and landowners that do their part in growing and managing forests for all of these benefits. We need trees and forests.

INCOME TAX DEDUCTION ON TIMBER AND LANDSCAPE TREES CASUALTY LOSS
New tax law changes that Congress passed in September 2017 provide tax relief to the taxpayers who are affected by Hurricane Harvey, Irma and Maria in September 2017.

To help timber owners as well as home owners who suffered timber or landscape tree damages with their tax reporting, this article explains the specific tax issues for timber and landscape tree loss, including the new tax laws for the property owners affected by Hurricane Harvey, Irma and Maria. Calculating the amount of loss for tax deduction may require a competent appraisal. The key for most timber cases is to figure out the cost or the adjusted basis of the timber. See the Timber Tax website for details.

HURRICANE DAMAGE TO TIMBER STANDS? SIGN UP FOR EMERGENCY FOREST RESTORATION ASSISTANCE FROM THE USDA FARM SERVICE AGENCY
The Farm Service Agency (FSA) offers the Emergency Forest Restoration Program (EFRP) that provides disaster assistance for private non-industrial forest landowners who have incurred damage to their existing forest stands by natural disasters, including Hurricane Irma.  Funding may be provided at a rate of up to 75% of the cost to implement forest restoration practices as determined by FSA county committees. 

Landowners who may be interested in this assistance are encouraged to contact their local FSA office as soon as possible for additional information and to sign up for this assistance as the enrollment period is typically open for 60 days after a qualifying event. Program details at: https://www.fsa.usda.gov/programs-and-services/disaster-assistance-program/emergency-forest-restoration/index

Check with your local FSA office to find out about EFRP sign-up periods.

HURRICANE DAMAGE TO PROPERTY? USDA NRCS EMERGENCY WATERSHED PROTECTION PROGRAM CAN HELP
If your area suffers damage from a natural disaster, USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) can help. The Emergency Watershed Protection Program (EWP) relieves imminent hazards to life and property caused by floods, fires, wind­storms and hurricanes. Aid may include financial and technical assistance to remove debris from streams, protect destabilized stream banks and establish cover on critically eroding lands and purchase flood plain easements.

The public and private landowners are eligible for assistance, but must be represented by a project sponsor, such as a city, county, conservation district or a Native American tribe or organization. NRCS provides technical assistance and pays up to 75 percent of the construction. Local sources contribute the remaining portion in the form of cash or in-kind services.

The process begins when the sponsor requests assistance from a local NRCS office.  Staff visit the site and determine eligibility based on damage, property protected, environmental impacts and economic analysis, then request funding from the NRCS national office. If Congress appropriates funds, the sponsor enters into a cooperative agreement to complete the work.

FARM AID PARTNERING WITH FLORIDA ORGANIC GROWERS TO ASSIST FARMERS IN NEED AFTER RECENT HURRICANES
Family farmers in Florida and the U.S. Virgin Islands can now access much-needed relief funding following Hurricanes Irma and Maria. Farm Aid has partnered with FOG to distribute emergency relief grants to help farmers meet household expenses. You do not need to be an organic farm to be eligible. For more information see:
http://www.foginfo.org/our-programs/application-farm-aid-disaster-relief-assistance/

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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