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)
February 23 Florida Scrub-Jay Festival (link), 10 am to 3:30 pm, Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge. Children's crafts and games, nature exhibits, live animals, watercolor exhibit, live music, presentations, and guided nature walks. See link above for details or contact the Visitor Center at (321) 861-0669.
February 26 Southwest Florida CISMA Annual Invasive Species Symposium and EDRR 101 Classes (link), 8:00 am - 4:30 pm, Florida Gulf Coast University, Cohen Center Student Union, 10501 FGCU Blvd, South Fort Myers, FL 33965-6565. This Annual Workshop offers a full day of presentations and interaction with over 200 of Southwest Florida's land managers, contractors, consultants and landowners. Earn up to 7 pesticide applicator CEU's. Concurrent to the main Symposium, is an "Invasive Plants 101: Identification and Treatment of Invasive Plants." $10 or free for active CISMA members. Details and registration at link above. Contact Erin Myers at Erin.myers@fltws.org for information.
February 26 4th Annual Florida Agricultural Policy Outlook Conference (link), 8:30 am to 4 pm, UF/IFAS Gulf Coast Research and Education Center, 14625 Co Rd 672, Wimauma, FL 33598. Join us to examine critical policy issues facing Florida agribusiness leaders and explore valuable economic insight helpful for making informed business and policy decisions. $50 for guests, $35 for UF faculty, staff, students See link above for details and registration. For further information contact: Alan Hodges, (352) 294-7674, awhodges@ufl.edu
March 1 2019 Florida Land Stewards of the Year Tour at Ben and Louann Williams' Wetland Preserve, LLC, Putnam County, FL (link). Almost full! Provided by the Florida Forest Stewardship Program. Through assistance from many Florida Land Steward partners, participation in educational events, active management, and patience, Ben and Louann Williams, along with their daughter, Ashley, have made great strides in improving and conserving the forest and natural resources of their Wetland Preserve property in Putnam County. Join us for a tour to meet these amazing landowners and see the property. $15 fee covers materials and lunch. Register online at https://fsp-tour030119.eventbrite.com. Space is limited so register soon! We will meet at the property, directions on announcement linked above. Contact Chris Demers for information, cdemers@ufl.edu.
March 3-5 Florida Urban Forestry Institute (link), Nova Southeastern University
Fort Lauderdale / Davie Campus. Provided by Florida Urban Forestry Council. Foresters, this program is approved for 13.0 Cat. 1 SAF CFEs. See link for details and information.
March 20 Mandatory Dicamba Herbicide Training (link), broadcast to UF/IFAS Extension facilities across north Florida. This is for anyone who intends to buy or apply XtendiMax, Engenia, or FeXapan during the 2019 growing season. The training session will address changes made to the labels of the previously listed products. You will earn 2 Core CEUs for your existing license. See link for details. For more information, contact Ethan Carter, (850) 482-9620, ethancarter@ufl.edu
March 23 2019 Family Day at the Dairy Farm (link), 9 am to 2 pm ET, University of Florida Dairy Unit, 13515 County Road 237, Alachua, FL 32615. Presented by University of Florida's Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, with support from Florida Dairy Farmers. Join us for a fun-filled, educational experience. See a working dairy farm, learn where milk comes from, meet researchers and veterinarians who work to improve Florida's dairy production, animal welfare and environmental sustainability. New stations are added this year! Please wear closed-toe shoes. All children must be accompanied by an adult. No pets please. Free admission, rain or shine!
April 10-12 2019 Spring Meeting of the Florida Chapter of The Wildlife Society (link), Crowne Plaza Melbourne Oceanfront. This meeting is an excellent opportunity for students and professionals engaged in wildlife research or habitat management in Florida to present recent results, talk about ongoing projects, discuss collaborations, and share ideas. See link above for details and registration.
April 30 - May 1 46th SAF / SFRC Spring Symposium: "Family Forests: Sustaining a Legacy" (link), University of Florida Roland T. Stern Learning Center at Austin Cary Forest Campus near Gainesville, FL. Provided by UF/IFAS School of Forest Resources and Conservation and Florida Division Society of American Foresters. Forest landowners, foresters, and natural resource professionals are encouraged to attend! We’ll explore topics and strategies that landowners and forestry and natural resource professionals in a variety of sectors can use to help family forests remain productive and intact into the future, and provide for the many benefits valued by family forest landowners and society. Topics will include landowner associations, forest product markets, new landscape planning approaches, forest certification, economics, hurricane recovery, genetically improved southern pines, wildlife habitat provisions, intergenerational land transfer, and more! $125 for landowners, $150 for current SAF members, $175 regular registration. SAF CFEs pending approval. See link above for details. Register at https://46-saf-sfrc-spring-symposium.eventbrite.com
May 6-9 Annual Aquatic Weed Control Short Course (link), Coral Springs Marriott, Coral Springs, FL. Early rate ends Feb. 25. Earn 20+ CEUs.  See link above for details and registration, or contact mstage@ufl.edu, (352) 294-3578
May 7-8 Learn & Burn Prescription Writing Workshop, Putnam County (link), 8 am - 5pm, Rodeheaver Boys Ranch, 380 Boys Ranch Rd, Palatka, FL 32177. Provided by North Florida Prescribed Burn Association and Alachua Conservation Trust. Participants will develop a legal Burn Prescription that focuses on specific goals and objectives, for different reasons a landowner might have for managing their property. Topics include range management, ground cover restoration, timber
management, wildlife management. Limited to 50 participants. Contact Barry Coulliette to Register, (904) 838-8591, act.barryc@gmail.com
May 16-17 Florida Native Plant Society's 39th Annual Conference: "Transitions" (link), The Plantation at Crystal River, 9301 West Fort Island Trail, Crystal River, FL 34429. The  "Transitions" theme is pertinent to the Nature Coast region of Florida in a number of ways: sea level rise and migrations of ecosystems due to climate change, and it is the transition zone between north and south Florida. The region also has a large diversity of plant communities and the transitions between uplands and wetlands are common, dramatic and highly visible. Many of the field trips and sessions focus on land management, including sessions on groundcover restoration, red-cockaded woodpecker habitat, and working with local land trusts. See link above for details and registration.

 

WEST FLORIDA (Jefferson County and west)
February 18-21 Central Panhandle Pesticide Training Series (link), UF/IFAS Washington County Extension Office in Chipley, FL. This is a multi-county collaboration between Holmes, Washington, and Jefferson County Extension agents. Registration is $10/session and refreshments will be provided. See link above for details and registration. For more information, contact the Washington County Extension Office, (850) 638-6180.
February 26-28 Prescribed Fire for Wildlife, a Workshop for Private Landowners (link), UF/IFAS North FL Research & Education Center, 155 Research Rd, Quincy, FL 32351. Provided by University of Florida IFAS, the Florida Chapter of the Wildlife Society, and Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. This training is for private landowners interested in improving the habitat they provide for wildlife by incorporating prescribed fire in their land management program. $25 fee per person. See link above for details and registration. For additional information, contact Holly Ober, Holly.Ober@ufl.edu
March 2 UF/IFAS Extension Escambia County 2nd annual Beef Cattle & Forage Bootcamp (link), 8:30 am to 1:30 pm CT, Escambia County 4-H Livestock Facility, 5701 Hwy 99, Molino, FL 32577. Topics covered include cattle handling, management, as well as nutrition & forages. We will also have industry representatives on hand to answer questions on products and services.$10/person, $15/couple, or free for 4-H & FFA members. See link for details. RSVP to the Escambia County Extension Office (850) 475-5230.
March 14 Keeping Your Agritourism Farm Fresh Workshop (link), UF/IFAS Washington County Agricultural Center, 1424 W Jackson Avenue, Chipley, FL. The workshop will cover many basic topics to help farmers take the first step towards encouraging tourism on their farms. This workshop will be the first of a series aimed at helping local farms work through the process of starting a successful agritourism operation.The workshop registration fee is $20 and includes coffee and lunch. See link above for details. For additional information, please contact Heather Lopez with the Washington County TDC at (850) 638-6013 or director@visitwcfla.com.
March 15 UF/IFAS North Florida REC Beef & Forage Field Day (link), 8 am to 2:30 pm CT, UF/IFAS North Florida Research and Education Center’s Beef Unit near Greenwood, FL. Topics include economics of integrating legumes into grazing systems, cover crops, automated technology, nutrition, and toxins. $10/person registration fee includes lunch. After lunch, an optional tour of the cool-season forage comparison trials on the agronomy unit will be provided. See link for details. For further information call (850) 526-1613.
March 20 Mandatory Dicamba Herbicide Training (link), broadcast to UF/IFAS Extension facilities across north Florida. This is for anyone who intends to buy or apply XtendiMax, Engenia, or FeXapan during the 2019 growing season. The training session will address changes made to the labels of the previously listed products. You will earn 2 Core CEUs for your existing license. See link for details. For more information, contact Ethan Carter, (850) 482-9620, ethancarter@ufl.edu

 

WEBINARS / LIVE STREAM / REGIONAL EVENTS
February 26 USDA Farm Bill Listening Session in Washington DC (link), 9:00 am ET. This event is intended for the public to attend in person and provide input to the Risk Management Agency (RMA), Farm Service Agency (FSA) and Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) on implementing changes to existing programs under the 2018 Farm Bill. For an overview of the event, viewing the event live, and providing comments, go to: www.farmers.gov/farmbill
March 5 Conservation Webinar: Equipment for Mechanical Cultivation (link), 3 pm ET. See link above for details and to join the webinar.
July 16-17 2019 Southern Cover Crop Conference (link), Auburn Hotel and Conference Center, 241 S College St, Auburn, AL 36830. This conference brings researchers, Extension personnel, farmers, and ag industry specialists together to discover the latest information related to cover crops in the South. See link above for details and registration
Upcoming Southern Fire Exchange Webinars (link)
Upcoming Invasive Plant Council Webinars (link)


Timber Price Update


Timber Price Update, 3rd Qtr 2018

 

News Briefs


CURRENT AND BACK ISSUES OF THE FLORIDA LAND STEWARD NEWSLETTER ONLINE

LATEST FLORIDA LAND STEWARD UPDATE BLOG POST

GET INVOLVED IN NATIONAL INVASIVE SPECIES AWARENESS WEEK (NISAW)
February 23 - March 3, 2019
Invasive species challenges are extremely costly both ecologically and economically statewide in Florida and across the country. Each year regional partnerships recognize National Invasive Species Awareness Week with a variety of activities to address invasive species problems at the local and regional scale. In Florida the Cooperative Invasive Species Management Areas (CISMAs) have many events planned throughout the week. Check out the Florida Invasive Species Partnership's web page for all the NISAW activities happening in Florida!

FEBRUARY 12 HURRICANE RECOVERY WORKSHOP BOOKLET AVAILABLE ONLINE
We had a great group of landowners and forestry / natural resource professionals attend the Hurricane Recovery Workshop last week in Blountstown - over 240 people. For those who were not able to attend or otherwise would like the materials provided at the event, a PDF of the workshop booklet is online: Hurricane Recovery Workshop Booklet (pdf link)

INCOME TAX DEDUCTION ON TIMBER AND LANDSCAPE TREE LOSS FROM CASUALTY AND TIMBER TAX TIPS FOR THE 2018 TAX YEAR
Timber or landscape trees destroyed by a hurricane, tornado, fire or other disaster are "casualty losses" that may allow the property owners to take a deduction on their federal income tax returns. See https://timbertax.org/ for guidance on this as well as the annual timber tax tips for 2018 filing from USDA Forest Service tax specialist Linda Wang.

ENDANGERED SPECIES TAX DEDUCTION CONTINUED FROM 2008 FARM BILL
This provides a deduction for conservation expenses that is capped at 25% of the gross income from farming. Conservation expenses can only be deducted by those in the business of farming for profit. Further, conservation practices must be consistent with an approved Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) conservation plan or a soil conservation plan from a comparable state agency.  To qualify for this deduction, there must be endangered/threatened species in the area and the conservation actions must be approved in the US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) recovery plan.  USFWS does not quantity the tax deduction; that is determined at the discretion of the landowner and ultimately the IRS. Direct all Farm Bill-related inquiries to the USDA Office of Communication at press@oc.usda.gov

CONGRATULATIONS BEN AND LOUANN WILLIAMS, 2019 FLORIDA LAND STEWARDS OF THE YEAR!
Ben and Louann Williams have owned and managed their Wetland Preserve, LLC since 2008. This 3,725-acre property in Putnam County is composed of mesic flatwoods, bottomland forest, floodplain swamp, and sandhill. Along with their daughter, Ashley, they have made great strides in improving and conserving the forests and natural resources of the property. Join us for a tour of the property and meet these amazing landowners on Friday March 1, 2019. $15 fee covers materials and lunch. Register online at https://fsp-tour030119.eventbrite.com

See more about the Williams' efforts and accomplishments on the
2019 Florida Land Steward of the Year Blog Post

WINTER-SPRING ISSUE OF THE QUARTERLY FLORIDA LAND STEWARD NEWSLETTER NOW AVAILABLE
This issue's features: Congratulations Ben and Louann Williams: Florida Land Stewards of 2019, Landowner Enrollment in Florida's Wildlife Best Management Practices Continues to Grow, ACF Consultant Corner: A Consultant Looks at Michael through the Eyes of a Landowner, Timber Price Update, Certified Forest Stewards and Tree Farmers, Events Calendar

Access the current and back issues of the Quarterly Florida Land Steward newsletter.

PRESCRIBED BURN ASSISTANCE AVAILABLE FROM WILDLAND RESTORATION INTERNATIONAL AND ATTACK-ONE FIRE MANAGEMENT SERVICES
Wildland Restoration International (WRI) and Attack-One Fire Management Services are providing prescribed burn assistance to landowners participating in USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) cost share programs. These organization has been awarded funding from the Endowment for Forestry and Communities to help landowners implement prescribed burning practices funded by the NRCS. Representatives from these organizations are available to meet onsite with landowners to discuss their goals and assist with prescribed burn prescription and implementation.

WRI is funded to assist landowners in the counties of Levy, Alachua, Putnam, Marion, Flagler, Volusia, Lake, Sumter, Hernando, Polk, Osceola, Manatee, Hardee, and Highlands. Landowners in these counties, with a NRCS contract that includes prescribed burning, are encouraged to contact Ryan Kennelly, WRI Fire Program Coordinator, (352) 373-0550, ryan.kennelly@wildlandrestoration.org

Attack-One is funded to assist landowners in Suwanee, Lafayette, Taylor, Madison Counties, and west across the Panhandle, and throughout the state of Georgia. Attack-One can also assist landowners with current or former NRCS contracts if active gopher tortoise habitat is present. Contact Kevin Carter, Attack-One, (850) 926-6534, kevin@attack-one.com

FLORIDA FOREST SERVICE ANNOUNCES NEW REQUIREMENTS FOR OPEN BURNING IN HURRICANE MICHAEL IMPACTED AREAS
Due to the massive amounts of tree debris on the ground throughout the area affected by Hurricane Michael, the FDACS Florida Forest Service has new requirements for open burning in Bay, Calhoun, Franklin, Gadsden, Gulf, Jackson, Liberty and Washington Counties. The Florida Forest Service created two geographical zones, primary and secondary, to identify hurricane-impacted areas with specific open burning requirements. Burning within the heavy impact zone will require pile burner certification. Details on the zones and requirements here.

AIR POTATO PATROL CITIZEN SCIENCE PROJECT
The Air Potato Patrol 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.

FLORIDA LAND STEWARD PARTNERS WEB MAP TOOL
Use this web tool to identify resources at a local watershed scale. The map is at this link: http://viewer.apps.pflcc.databasin.org/v1/index.html. More about this effort and how to use the tool here.

FAMILY FORESTS BOOK AVAILABLE AT THE UF/IFAS BOOKSTORE
Get your copy of Family Forests – Portraits of Private Land Stewardship in Florida by Chris Demers, UF/IFAS School of Forest Resources and Conservation. This full-color publication puts a face on private forest stewardship in our great state, and provides ample references and resources that can assist with land management efforts. 

Now available at the UF/IFAS Extension Bookstore online at:
http://ifasbooks.ifas.ufl.edu/p-1433-family-forests.aspx

REPORT QUAIL AND OTHER WILDLIFE SIGHTINGS
To help restore the state’s northern bobwhite quail populations, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) is asking private landowners to report sightings of bobwhite quail on their land. Report northern bobwhite quail sightings at MyFWC.com/QuailSighting

The FWC also seeks reports of these species:

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

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

Florida Forest Service

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission

Southern Region Extension Forestry

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