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)
January 12, 2019 Project Learning Tree Workshop: STEM, PLT and Oakland Nature Preserve (link), 8:45 am to 2:15 pm ET, Oakland Nature Preserve, 747 Machette Trail, Oakland, FL 34760. Only $10. For those working with children, discover how to teach about environmental concepts through a focus on trees, while encouraging their relationship with the outside environment and helping to develop critical thinking skills. See link above for details and registration.Contact Dana Sussmann, Dana.Sussmann@freshfromflorida.com for more information. 
January 19 Project Learning Tree Workshop: Connecting People with Trees (link), 8:30 am to 3:15 pm ET, Austin Cary Forest, 10625 NE Waldo Rd., Gainesville, FL 32609. For those working with children, discover how to teach youth about environmental concepts through a focus on trees, while encouraging their relationship with the outside environment and helping to develop critical thinking skills. Only $10. See link above for details and registration. Contact Joe MacKenzie at Joseph.Mackenzie@FreshFromFlorida.com for information.
January 23, 30 Certified Arborist Training (link), 9 am – 5 pm, Guana Tolomato Matanzas National Estuarine Research Reserve, 9741 Ocean Shore Blvd., Marineland, FL. $60 for both days including lunch. Local extension agents and certified arborists will review the topics covered on the ISA Certified Arborist Exam, along with the requirements to be eligible to complete the exam. See link above for details and registration. Contact Prissy Fletcher, pfletch@ufl.edu for more information. 
January 26 Flatwoods Fire and Nature Festival (pdf link), 10 am to 3 pm, Austin Cary Forest near Gainesville, FL. Join us for a celebration of Florida's forests and the role of fire in maintaining and enhancing their beauty, diversity, and habitat value. Fun for the whole family. Activities include educational exhibits and activities, live animals, prescribed burn  demonstrations, a visit from Burner Bob the bobwhite quail, food vendors, live music, and more! See the event Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/events/246640302864953/ for information, sharing, and indicating interest.
February 23 Florida Scrub-Jay Festival (link), 10 am to 3:30 pm, Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge. Childrens 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.
March 1 Florida Land Stewards of the Year Tour at Ben and Lou Ann Williams' Wetland Preserve, LLC, Putnam County, FL. Mark your calendar and check back for details.
Marcy 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.

 

WEST FLORIDA (Jefferson County and west)
February 26-28, 2019 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

 

REGIONAL EVENTS / WEBINARS
***ON-DEMAND*** Agriculture Disaster Assistance - Information Session for Agriculture and Forest Producers - 2018 (link)
December 19 Southern Fire Exchange Webinar: Don't Fear the Fire (link), 1 - 2 pm ET. See link for details and registration.
December 20 Forestry & Natural Resources Webinar: Wood Energy Options - Save Money and Reduce Your Carbon Footprint (link), 1 pm ET. See link for details and registration.


Timber Price Update


Timber Price Update, 3rd Qtr 2018

 

News Briefs


CURRENT AND BACK ISSUES OF THE FLORIDA LAND STEWARD NEWSLETTER ONLINE

FLORIDA LAND STEWARD UPDATE 11/14/18 (Blog Post)

2019 FLORIDA LAND STEWARD WALL CALENDARS AVAILABLE
It's that time of year! Get your 2019 Florida Land Steward wall calendars while supplies last. The annual Florida Land Steward calendar features beautiful photography, habitat management tips, landowner and management highlights, resource contacts and more. These make a great gift and have become a regular part of homes and offices across Florida. First come, first serve to Florida Forest Stewards, Tree Farmers, and other interested landowners. Request yours by sending an email to cdemers@ufl.edu with your mailing address.

YOU CAN HELP us to continue this calendar project. If you have received and used the calendar in recent years, we would like to know how it has been helpful. This will also help us to justify this project in coming years. Please help us by filling out this quick 2-minute questionnaire: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/6HKR82F

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.

USDA FARM SERVICE AGENCY ACCEPTING EMERGENCY FOREST RESTORATION PROGRAM APPLICATIONS IN 17 FLORIDA COUNTIES IMPACTED BY HURRICANE MICHAEL
U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) Acting State Executive Director Justin Teuton has announced that 17 Florida counties are accepting applications for the Emergency Forest Restoration Program (EFRP) to address damages from Hurricane Michael. EFRP provides payments to eligible owners of nonindustrial private forest (NIPF) land to enable the owners to carry out emergency measures to restore land damaged by a natural disaster. EFRP sign-up began on Oct. 23, 2018, and ends on Dec. 21, 2018.

Impacted producers in Bay, Calhoun, Dixie, Franklin, Gadsden, Gulf, Holmes, Jackson, Jefferson, Lafayette, Leon, Liberty, Madison, Taylor, Wakulla, Walton and Washington are eligible to apply for EFRP.

NIPF landowners who suffered damage can apply for cost-share assistance at their local USDA Service Center. After applications are received, the Florida Forest Service will work with FSA to provide technical assistance by evaluating the damage and developing a plan to restore the NIPF land. The local FSA county committee will determine land eligibility and approve applications.  

In order to meet eligibility requirements, NIPF land must have existing tree cover or had tree cover immediately before the natural disaster occurred and be sustainable for growing trees. The land must also be owned by any nonindustrial private individual, group, association, corporation or other private legal entity that has definitive decision-making authority over the land. The natural disaster must have resulted in damage that if untreated would impair or endanger the natural resources on the land and/or materially affect future use of the land. In Florida, the requirement of an onsite inspection prior to beginning debris removal activities has been waived due to extensive hurricane damage.

For more information on EFRP, please contact your local FSA county office or visit https://www.farmers.gov/recover. To find your local office, visit farmers.gov.

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, Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Adam Putnam and the Florida Forest Service released new requirements for open burning, effective November 2, 2018, in the following counties impacted by Hurricane Michael: Bay, Calhoun, Franklin, Gadsden, Gulf, Jackson, Liberty and Washington.

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.

FLATWOODS FIRE AND NATURE FESTIVAL (PDF Flyer)
January 26, 2019, 10 am to 3 pm, Austin Cary Forest near Gainesville, FL

Join us for a celebration of Florida's forests and the role of fire in maintaining and enhancing their beauty, diversity, and habitat value. Fun for the whole family. Activities include educational exhibits and activities, live animals, prescribed burn  demonstrations, a visit from Burner Bob the bobwhite quail, food vendors, live music, and more! See the event Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/events/246640302864953/ for information, sharing, and indicating interest.

FLORIDA TREE FARM PROGRAM PREPARING FOR 2019 AUDIT
The Florida Tree Farm Program is preparing for a 2019 audit. The purpose of the audit is to verify that certified Tree Farms are compliant with the 2015-2020 Standards of Sustainability. A relatively small sample of Tree Farms will be selected for the audit. The audit team will visit selected Tree Farms to review the landowners' management plans and conduct a brief interview. The inspector of the property and a Florida Tree Farm representative will accompany the auditor. We will begin the audit process in January 2019. Selected sample Tree Farm landowners will receive a phone call in early January 2019.

The Florida Tree Farm Program wants to make sure this audit goes well so it is extremely important for ALL certified Tree Farms in the state to have a current written management plan. Current means updated in the last 5 years. Contact your Florida Forest Service County Forester, consultant, or your Tree Farm District Representative if you need an update to your management plan, or if you have not been inspected since 2014

Find your County Forester here.

Find your Tree Farm District Representative here.

NEW FAMILY FORESTS BOOK AVAILABLE AT THE UF/IFAS BOOKSTORE
Hot off the presses: 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

PRESCRIBED BURN ASSISTANCE AVAILABLE FROM WILDLAND RESTORATION INTERNATIONAL
Assistance available to landowners in the counties of Levy, Alachua, Putnam, Marion, Flagler, Volusia, Lake, Sumter, Hernando, Polk, Osceola, Manatee, Hardee, and Highlands. 

Wildland Restoration International (WRI) is excited to announce prescribed burn assistance to landowners participating in USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) cost share programs. The organization has been awarded funding from the Endowment for Forestry and Communities to help landowners implement prescribed burning practices funded by the NRCS. WRI representatives are available to meet onsite with landowners to discuss their goals and assist with prescribed burn prescription and implementation.

WRI is also interested in providing educational workshops for landowners interested in learning more about prescribed burning topics. They also want to encourage the formation of landowner associations or cooperatives to help landowners work together to facilitate the safe and effective use of prescribed fire on their lands.

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, Fire Program Coordinator, (352) 373-0550, ryan.kennelly@wildlandrestoration.org

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.

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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