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.



EAST FLORIDA (Madison County, east and south)
July 26-27 14th Annual Everglades Invasive Species Summit (link), Tree Tops County Park in Broward County. Presented by Everglades Cooperative Invasive Species Management Area. $5 fee. See link above for details and registration.
August 3 First Coast and East Central Florida Cooperative Invasive Species Management Areas Meeting (link), 10 am to 3 pm ET, UF/IFAS St. Johns County Extension Office, 3125 Agricultural Center Dr, St Augustine, FL 32092. Topics will include control methods for Johnsongrass and Old World climbing fern; Early Detection Rapid Response training, and more. See link for details and registration. For more information contact Kaitlyn Dietz, (904) 823-2291, Kaitlyn.dietz@dep.state.fl.us
August 3 USDA Farm Bill Programs Meeting in Sarasota County, 6 pm,.Sarasota Farm Bureau, 7289 Palmer Boulevard. Ag producers, Sarasota Soil and Water Conservation District and USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service will identify resource concerns and county conservation priorities. Contact: Israel Vega or Janie Besselman at (941) 907-0011. Link: http://tinyurl.com/ya3bps5d
August 10 Using Insects for Pest Control (link), 9 am - 4 pm, NRCS Brooksville Plant Material Center, 14119 Broad Street, Brooksville, FL. 34601. Pre-register for $45 by Aug. 1 at link above. Hosted by the Xerces Society, SARE and USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service.
August 14 USDA Farm Bill Programs Meeting in Manatee County, 6 pm, Manatee Extension Service, 1303 17th Street West, Palmetto, FL, in the Stewart Room. Ag producers, Manatee Soil and Water Conservation District and USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) identify resource concerns and county conservation priorities. Contact: Israel Vega or Gail Somodi at (941) 907-0011.
August 15 Florida USDA NRCS State Technical Advisory Committee Meeting, Note date change to August 15, 10 am to 12:30 pm, Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Doyle Conner Agriculture Building Auditorium, 1911 SW 34th Street, Gainesville, FL 32608. The meeting is open to the public and will give an overview of the 2014 Farm Bill programs and conservation easements. NRCS will solicit recommendations for establishing technical guidelines, program criteria and priorities for conservation practices in Florida. Individuals who want to get on the agenda or who require special accommodations or materials in an alternative format or language contact Jeffrey Woods, (352) 338-9515 by Aug. 1.  Additional information on NRCS and programs is available on our website at or at your local USDA NRCS office.
September 17-19 Organic Food and Farming Summit (link), Gainesville, FL. Provided by Florida Organic Growers. See link for details.
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 27 Certified Pile Burner Course, 8:30 am to 5:00 pm, UF/IFAS West Central 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.  To register call DarLinda Duteau of the UF/IFAS Extension Sumter County Office, 352-569-6865.
October 13 Turpentining in Florida: Past, Present, Future? 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. Mark your calendar. SAF CFEs approved. $15 fee covers program and lunch. Register at https://tinyurl.com/y9u2d9ze


WEST FLORIDA (Jefferson County and west)
July 26 Need Pesticide CEUs? Attend The Great CEU Round-Up (link), 8:30 am – 4:00 pm EDT at participating UF/IFAS Extension Offices in the Panhandle. Presented by The Florida Turfgrass Association and UF/IFAS. Earn up to 6 CEUs across 14 license categories as this statewide program is broadcast to participating Extension Offices, in the panhandle these include Bay, Escambia, Holmes, Jackson, Calhoun, Leon, Santa Rosa and Walton Counties. Until 7/21, registration is $15 for UF/IFAS employees, $30 for municipal employees, and $50 for industry professionals. Starting 7/22, prices increase to $22.50 for UF/IFAS employees, $45 for municipal employees, and $75 for industry professionals. See link above for details.
August 29-31 2017 Florida Forestry Association Annual Meeting & Trade Show (link), Sandestin Grand at Baytowne Wharf, Sandestin, FL. Approved for 4.5 Cat. 1 and 2.0 Cat 2 SAF CFEs. See link for details and registration.,
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 on-line at https://fsp-workshop092817.eventbrite.com/. You can also reserve a space by contacting UF/IFAS Okaloosa County Extension at (850) 689-5850. Please register by September 15 so we can plan accordingly.
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.


July 25 Forestry Webinar: Drought and Urban Forests (link), 2 pm ET, See link for details and to join.
July 25 Natural Resources Webinar: Native Thistles: Important and Misunderstood Plants for Conservation (link), 2 pm ET, See link for details and to join.
July 26 Natural Resources Webinar: Common Garden Studies for Herbaceous Plants: Lessons Learned from the Longleaf Pine Ecosystem (link), 11 am ET, See link for details and to join.
August 2 Science & Technology Webinar: High Tunnel Systems (link), 2 pm ET, See link for details and to join.
August 16 Wildlife Wednesday Webinar: Florida’s Small But Significant Songbirds (link), 12:15 to 1 pm ET, See link for details and registration.
August 23 Science & Technology Webinar: The Use of the National Hierarchical Framework of Ecological Units for Seed Zone Demarcation (link), 11 am ET, See link for details and to join.
September 20 Wildlife Wednesday Webinar: Commonly Encountered Ducks of Florida (link), 12:15 to 1 pm ET, See link for details and 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.
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, 1st Qtr 2017

News Briefs


Apply by July 28, 2017

The Florida Forest Service is accepting applications for the Longleaf Pine Private Landowner Incentives Program. The objective of this Program is to increase the acreage of healthy longleaf pine ecosystems in Florida by helping non-industrial private forest (NIPF) landowners to make the long-term investment required to establish and maintain this valuable ecosystem. Toward this end, the program offers NIPF landowners technical guidance and incentive payments for conducting certain approved forest management practices that help establish or improve longleaf pine stands.

The program offers incentive payments for: longleaf pine seedling establishment, timber stand improvement, prescribed burning, native plant understory establishment, mechanical underbrush treatments, invasive exotic plant treatment. All payments are made at specified per-acre or per-seedling rates.

The program is limited to the Florida counties located west of the Aucilla River, as well as Alachua, Bradford, Brevard, Citrus, Clay, Lake, Levy, Marion, Orange, Putnam, Seminole, Sumter, and Volusia Counties. Qualified landowners may apply for up to four approved practices per year. The minimum tract size requirement is 10 acres, and funding requests may not exceed $10,000. Only one application per landowner is permitted per year.

Contact your Florida Forest Service County Forester to apply.

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.

Apply by August 30, 2017
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.

In Florida grant funding will be used to conserve wetlands and agricultural lands through the NRCS Agricultural Conservation Easement Program (ACEP) and target beginning farmers, socially disadvantaged farmers or ranchers, limited resource farmers or ranchers, Tribes and veteran farmers and ranchers. Applications are due by Aug. 17 to National Fish and Wildlife Foundation online: easygrants.nfwf.org

Typical grant awards will range from $50,000 to $300,000. A match of at least 1:1 non-federal cash or in-kind is required. Eligible applicants include: non-profit 501(c) organizations, farmer and commodity-led organizations, educational institutions, tribal governments, and state or local units of governments (e.g. state agricultural and/or conservation agencies, counties, townships, cities, conservation districts, utility districts, drainage districts, etc.). 

For more information go to: http://tinyurl.com/y8fpgpdp

The Conservation Partners Program is a collaborative effort between USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service, the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and other regional/initiative-specific partners.

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.

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:

All the latest videos are on the Florida Forest Stewardship Program home page:

Go to floridainvasives.org for information, assistance and partnership opportunities.

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?


See http://sfrc.ufl.edu/extension

For a calendar of upcoming webinars in a variety of land management topics see:

See http://sref.info/ for the latest news, tools and offerings.

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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