Florida Land Steward Calendar and News

To sign up for weekly email updates, which include the latest calendar of events, news and a link to the quarterly 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)
January 18 Arbor Day Event at Drexel Farms, Pasco County, 11:00 am to 3:00 pm, Drexel Farms, 5832 Drexel Rd, Land O’Lakes, FL. Florida Forest Service County Forester, Mona Neville, will be giving out 100 potted, one-gallon shade trees to the first one hundred people. Free food and drinks will be provided. Presentations will be given by Florida Forest Service, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and Nature Coast Cooperative Invasive Species Management Area.
January 23 Longleaf Pine Forest Restoration and Management Workshop (pdf link), 8:30 am to 3:30 pm, Silver Springs State Park, Paradise Ballroom, 5656 Silver Springs Blvd. (SR 40), Silver Springs, FL 34488. Provided by the UF/IFAS Florida Land Steward Program and Florida Forest Service. Join us to learn about longleaf pine forest habitat restoration and management, associated enterprises, and available technical and cost-share assistance. $15.00 per person includes lunch and materials. Now approved for 5.0 Cat. 1 SAF CFEs. Register online at https://fls-workshop012320.eventbrite.com.
January 28 Herbicide Use for Natural Areas (link), 9 am to 4 pm, Osceola County Extension Service Building, 1921 Kissimmee Valley Lane, Kissimmee, FL 34744. Provided by Osceola Cooperative Invasive Species Management Area. Topics include reading a herbicide label, safety, treatment recommendations, mixing math, decontamination, calibration and integrating herbicide use, restoration and success criteria in to your invasive plant management plans. See link above for details and registration.
February 5 Certified Pile Burners Course, 8:00 am to 4:30 pm, Southwest Florida Research and Education Center, 2685 State Road 29 North, Immokalee, FL 34142. This training will show you how to burn piles legally, safely and efficiently. Most importantly, it could save a life. If you burn piles regularly, don’t put off this training. When the weather is dry, certified pile burners will receive priority for authorization to burn. Also, certified pile burners are allowed to burn up to two hours longer per day and get multiple day authorizations. The number of trainings offered and attendance at each training is limited so don't wait. Cost is $50. For information and registration materials contact Dr. Mongi Zekri, maz@ufl.edu or 239‐595‐5494.
February 11-13 Wildlife and Invasive Species Education (WISE) Workshop (link), UF/IFAS Sumter County Extension, 7620 SR 471, Bushnell, FL 33513.Topics include Living with Panthers, The Florida Back Bear, Invasive Plants. Goliath Grouper, Gopher Tortoises, Horseshoe crabs, Pollinators, Dealing with Nuisance Wildlife, Venomous Snakes, Invasive Fish, and Landscaping for Wildlife. Registration is $45.00 per person for both days, includes lunch, snacks, drinks, and educational materials. Single day registration is $25.00 per person, See link above for details and registration. This event fills up fast, so register soon.
February 25 Winter 2020 Madison County Landowner Cooperative Group Meeting, 10 am to 12 pm ET. UF/IFAS Madison County Extension Office, 184 NW College Loop, Madison, FL 32340. The focus of this meeting will be on invasive species and herbicides. We will identify common invasive species in the Madison County area; Introduce FL Exotic Pest Plant Council, Florida Invasive Species Partnership, and other resources for invasive species information; explain treatment methods that are least harmful to native vegetation; and discuss some basics of herbicide application and safety. For more information and to RSVP please contact Megan Ellis, Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission, Megan.Ellis@MyFWC.com
February 27 5th Annual Florida Agricultural Policy Outlook Conference (link), 9:00 am to 4:30 pm ET, UF/IFAS Citrus Research and Education Center, 700 Experiment Station Road, Lake Alfred, FL 33850. Join us to examine critical policy issues facing Florida agribusiness leaders and explore valuable economic insight helpful for making informed business and policy decisions. Sessions include Managing Florida's Natural Resources; State, Federal and International Agaricultural Policy; and Industrial Hemp and Medical Marijuana. $50 fee. See link above for details and registration.
March 24-27 Florida Exotic Pest Plant Council (FLEPPC) 2020 Conference: Measuring Success in Invasive Plant Management (link), The Shores Resort & Spa, 2637 South Atlantic Avenue, Daytona Beach Shores, FL 32118. Attend for valuable information exchange and networking opportunities. CEUs will be offered in several categories and the agenda will highlight success stories from the field. See link above for details and registration. FREE long-sleeved tshirt to those who register prior to March 1 (one per registration).


WEST FLORIDA (Jefferson County and west)
January 22 Learn & Burn Workshop, Washington County, 8:00 am - 4:00 pm CT, 2706 Roche Rd, Chipley, FL 32428 (Southeast of Vernon, FL). FWC, Florida Forest Service, and Tall Timbers Research Station staff, in cooperation with USDA-NRCS, the NWTF and Farm Credit, are providing this opportunity for private landowners to walk through the planning and burn prescription process for the burn that will be conducted that day. Landowners will be assigned a mentor for the burn as they experience everything from writing the prescription to completing the burn on the property. Cotton jeans / pants, long-sleeved cotton shirt, safety glasses, all leather hiking / work boots with heavy soles (Vibram, leather etc.), and leather gloves are required to participate in the burn. Due to the need for good weather conditions to conduct the burn alternative dates 23rd through 25th may be used for this event. Participants will be notified of any changes due to weather. A signed release form will also be required to participate in the burn. Farm Credit will be providing lunch free of charge, but you must pre-register by January 10, 2020. Contact: Don Buchanan by email  Don.buchanan@myfwc or call 850-381-3522.
January 23 Prescribed Fire Workshop (link), 8:00 am to 2:00 pm ET, Birdsong Nature Center, 2106 North Meridian Road, Thomasville, GA 31792. Provided by Golden Triangle RC&D in Georgia. See link above for details and registration or contact Golden Triangle RC&D at (229) 723-3841, jandrews@goldentrianglercd.org. Registration deadline is Jan. 20.
January 30 Bobwhites in Pine Savanna Workshop, Jackson County (link), 9:00 am to 2:00 pm CT, University of Florida IFAS Jackson County Extension office, 2741 Penn Avenue, Suite 3, Marianna, FL 32448. The National Bobwhite Conservation Initiative (NBCI) and partners including Quail Forever, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, Tall Timbers Research Station and Land Conservancy, University of Florida Extension, and the Natural Resources Conservation Service will host a Tri-State Bobwhite Symposium for professional land managers and landowners. Topics to be covered include: Bobwhite Biology and Ecology, Forestry in a Bobwhite Context, Northern Bobwhite & Prescribed Fire, Using Native Warm Season Grasses for Cattle and Bobwhites, and Landscape Scale Planning for Bobwhites. Preregistration by January 23 is required online at the link above or by contacting jmcguire@quailforever.org
February 4 Keeping Your Agritourism Farm Fresh III (link), 8:00 am CT, UF/IFAS Washington County Agricultural Center located at 1424 W Jackson Avenue in Chipley. Provided by UF/IFAS and the tourism development councils of Holmes, Jackson and Washington Counties, this workshop is a continuation of a series committed to helping farmers introduce tourism on their farms. Registration fee is $20 and includes coffee and lunch. See link above for details and registration. For additional information contact Christy Andreasen with the Jackson County TDC at (850) 482-8061 or Heather Lopez with the Washington County TDC at (850) 638-6013.
February 18 Learn & Burn Workshop, Okaloosa County, 8:00 am - 4 pm CT, Gum Creek Lodge located at 5741 Gum Creek Lodge Rd, Baker, FL 32531. FWC, Florida Forest Service, and Tall Timbers Research Station staff, in cooperation with USDA-NRCS, the NWTF and Farm Credit, are providing an opportunity for private landowners to walk through the planning and burn prescription process for the burn that will be conducted that day. Landowners will be assigned a mentor for the burn as they experience everything from writing the prescription to completing the burn on the property. Cotton jeans / pants, long-sleeved cotton shirt, safety glasses, all leather hiking/work boots with heavy soles (Vibram, leather etc.), and leather gloves are required to participate in the burn. Due to the need for good weather conditions to conduct the burn alternative dates 19th through 22th may be used for this event. Participants will be notified of any changes due to weather. A signed release form will also be required to participate in the burn. Farm Credit will be providing lunch free of charge, but you must pre-register by February 07, 2020. Contact: Don Buchanan by email  Don.buchanan@myfwc or call 850-381-3522.
February 23-25 Southeastern Society of American Foresters Annual Meeting: Recovering From the Storm: Where We Have Been, and Where We Are Going (link). Edgewater Resort, Panama City Beach, FL. While Hurricane Michael impacts and recovery topics will be on the agenda, the meeting will provide information to help us through future catastrophic forest losses, including floods, fire, and insect and disease outbreaks. Foresters, this is approved for a total of 8.0 Cat 1 CFEs. See link above for details and registration. Discounted early member registration price ends January 25.
February 25 Northwest Florida Ecotourism Summit (link), 8 am CT, 4750 Collegiate Dr, Panama City, FL, 32405. Florida State University and Panama City are teaming up with the Explore Northwest Florida organization to host this event. It will bring together industry leaders, educators, students, potential new businesses, and eco-friendly enthusiasts to enhance our ecotourism communities in the Florida Panhandle. See link above for details and registration.
February 26 Forest Health Updates - Training (link), 8:00 am to 3:30 pm CT, West Florida Research and Education Center 5988 U.S. 90 Milton, FL 32583. Provided by UF/IFAS in collaboration with ProForest, Florida Forest Service, Clemson University, Alabama Extension, and the University of Illinois. Topics include proactive invasive plant management and new technology, hurricanes and bark and ambrosia beetles, forest management post-disturbance, invasive insect and fungi ID and management and single tree management after the storm. There is travel assistance available for attendees. Lunch is included in the $20 registration fee. There are CEUs available for SAF and ISA. Pesticide applicator CEUs are pending. Register now online https://www.eventbrite.com/e/forest-health-updates-tickets-86734710855. Registration can also be paid by check - contact tobing@ufl.edu for more information.   


January 29 Forestry and Natural Resources Webinar: Ecosystem Management in Towns and Cities (link), 10 am ET, see link above for details and to join the webinar.
March 10-11, 2020 Forest Economic Contributions Summit (link), New Orleans, LA. This summit will connect forestry economic contribution analysts, economic development specialists, and advocates to learn from each other. Improve the understanding, usage and communication of forestry economic contribution data to promote forestry and the forest products industry. See link above for details, registration, related reports, and economic news. Contact Leslie Boby, Southern Region Forestry Extension, lboby@sref.info if you have any questions.
On Demand Forestry Webinar: Emerald Ash Borer Update (link), pre-recorded, available on-demand.
Upcoming Southern Fire Exchange Webinars (link)

Timber Price Update

Timber Price Update, 3rd Qtr 2019


News Briefs



Mr. Robert Jenkins, owner and manager of Jenkins Millview Trace, is the 2020 Land Steward of the Year. A lifelong land steward since his time in the Boy Scouts and hunting in his youth, Robert Jenkins has made great strides in the restoration of his family's forest property now located in the wildland-urban interface of Escambia County. As an outdoorsman and a founder of the local chapter of Quail Unlimited, he gained much knowledge and appreciation for upland pine habitat and all its components, especially longleaf pine. The property had been burned regularly to maintain access for turpentine collection from the 1930s to 60s. After that industry shut down, the existing longleaf pine was harvested, burning stopped, and the property was naturally regenerated in slash pine. When wildfires raged in the late 1990s on the west side of Escambia County, Bob realized his slash pine stand in Millview was at risk for a devastating fire due to years of fuel buildup from pine straw and underbrush overgrowth. Of equal concern were the subdivisions that had been built surrounding his property and the risk of what a fire on his property would do to these homes. He decided to take action. Working with a local consulting forester, he is restoring the property from a dangerous build-up of shrubs and hardwoods with limited habitat value to a productive longleaf pine forest maintained with periodic prescribed fire. Bob is also controlling invasive species like cogongrass and Chinese tallowtree, and has invited the public to the property to learn about the benefits of longleaf pine and active forest management. Mr. Jenkins will host a tour of the property on May 15. 2020. Details and registration will be posted on the Florida Land Steward calendar of events. Learn more about Robert Jenkins and Jenkins Millview Trace here.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced that general signup for the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) is now open through February 28, 2020. This is the first general enrollment since 2016. Due to expiring contracts and a 5 million acre increase in the 2018 Farm Bill (from 22 million acres to 27 million acres), there is an opportunity to enroll about 7 million acres in the program during this 2020 signup. Originally intended to help control soil erosion and potentially stabilize commodity prices by taking marginal lands out of production, CRP has become one of the largest private lands conservation programs in the country. See the USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) site for more information about the signups and benefits.

To enroll in CRP, contact your local USDA FSA county office or visit fsa.usda.gov/crp. Find your local office with the USDA Service Center Finder.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture Florida Farm Service Agency State Committee authorized an extension to the USDA Farm Service Agency’s Emergency Forest Restoration Program (EFRP) late filing period. This will allow timber producers impacted by Hurricane Michael to apply for assistance under EFRP if the application is received by the new deadline of April 30, 2020. Find your USDA Service Center here.

Get your 2020 Florida Land Steward calendar 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 your calendar by sending an email to cdemers@ufl.edu with your mailing address.

YOU CAN HELP us to report impacts and continue this wall 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

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has allocated $380.7 million in federal block grant funding for Florida farmers devastated by Hurricane Michael, including direct relief for timber producers. The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services will administer the USDA block grants alongside the Florida Division of Emergency Management.

The funds will compensate timber producers for lost value of their crops damaged by Hurricane Michael, helping them clear downed trees and replant. About $10 million of the funding will also help agricultural producers repair and replace irrigation infrastructure damage from Hurricane Michael. The application process for timber producers to receive the grant funding will be finalized in the next several weeks. More on this from FDACS

The Florida Forest Service has received funding to help cover the costs for private natural resource consultants to write Forest Stewardship plans covering hurricane resiliency and/or longleaf pine management. Eligible Stewardship plans must include information and recommendations related to: forest resilience and recovery following hurricanes, forest and landowner preparedness for hurricanes, and/or resources available to assist private forest landowners following hurricanes and/or longleaf pine establishment, restoration, improvement, and management for landowners with longleaf stands or those who want to establish longleaf pine on appropriate sites.

Compensation rates and additional information are provided in the Forest Stewardship Program Consultant Plan Preparation Agreement available at: https://forms.freshfromflorida.com/11268.pdf. This form also serves as the application for reimbursement. All applications that meet requirements as described above will be considered in the order in which they are received. Please contact Jennifer Tucker-Jenks at Jennifer.Tucker-Jenks@FreshFromFlorida.com or your county forester for more information. Find your county forester at https://www.freshfromflorida.com/CountyForester

These organizations are available to meet onsite with landowners to discuss their goals and assist with prescribed burn prescription and implementation.

Attack-One Fire Management Services is grant-funded to assist landowners with current NRCS contracts with prescribed fire planning and implementation throughout Florida and Georgia. We can also assist landowners who have former NRCS contracts with prescribed fire consultation, planning and implementation with active Gopher Tortoise habitat present. For more information email Kevin Carter, kevin@attack-one.com or John McGuire, jmcguire@attack-one.com or call (850) 926-6534

Tall Timbers Research Station is now funded by a Longleaf Legacy Landscape project to provide fire consultation, planning, and implementation to private landowners in the Florida Panhandle from Pensacola to Lake City and in west Georgia as far north as the Chattahoochee Fall Line (Columbus, GA). Contact Jeremiah Cates, jcates@talltimbers.org, (850) 381-8707

Alachua Conservation Trust has a prescribed fire specialist available to assist private landowners with burn planning in Alachua, Putnam, Marion, Levy, Bradford, Clay and portions of Flagler, Volusia, Lake, Sumter, and Citrus Counties. Contact Barry Coulliette at act.barryc@gmail.com

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.

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:

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

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:

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

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

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:

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.

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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