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 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 1 Discussion of Local Agricultural Issues with Legislators at Southwest FL REC (link), 10 am — 1 pm, UF/IFAS Southwest FL Research and Education Center, 2685 SR 29 North Immokalee, FL 34142. Topics will include toxic cyanobacteria blooms, causes and impacts of red tide, water demand and supply, and trade issues. Free, lunch included. Pre-registration is required. To reserve a seat, call 239-658-3415 or email Jennifer Derleth at jderleth@ufl.edu.
February 2 Sarasota County's Fire Fest (link), 10 am to 2 pm, T. Mabry Carlton, Jr. Memorial Reserve, 1800 Mabry Carlton Parkway, Venice, FL 34292. FIRE FEST provides a first-hand look at how prescribed burns protect our communities and property from wildfires, as well as maintain Florida’s natural ecosystems for present and future generations. A part of Prescribed Fire Awareness Week, this is a fun opportunity for the whole family to learn how fire is used carefully and effectively on our natural lands, right here in Sarasota County. Prescribed burn demos, helicopter water drops, games for kids, guided nature walks, free food and more! See link above for details.
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.
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). 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. In addition to hard work on the property the family is also involved in outreach to the public about wildlife and conservation topics, providing critical population and location data on imperiled wildlife species, and they have taken an active role in the formation and leadership of the North Florida Prescribed Burn Association. Join us for a tour of the property and meet some amazing landowners. $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.

 

WEST FLORIDA (Jefferson County and west)
February 12 Hurricane Recovery Workshop: Taking the Next Steps to Salvage and Restoration of Forests and Natural Resources Impacted by Hurricane Michael (link), 9:00 am to 5:00 pm CST, Rivertown Community Church, 19359 Highway 71, Blountstown, FL 32424. Provided by Florida Tree Farm Program. Topics include available assistance, salvage options, tax implications, forest product markets, and more. A panel of experts from a wide array of expertise will be there to help answer your questions. This event is free and includes lunch. Register in advance so we can plan accordingly. Contact UF/IFAS Calhoun Extension (850) 674-8323 to register.
February 13 Northwest Florida Beef Conference & Trade Show (link), Trade Show open at 7:30 am CT, UF/IFAS Jackson County Extension Office, located at 2741 Penn Avenue, Marianna, Florida. $5 per person registration fee, payable at the door.  See link for details or contact Doug Mayo, at 850-482-9620.
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

 

REGIONAL EVENTS / WEBINARS
***ON-DEMAND*** Agriculture Disaster Assistance - Information Session for Agriculture and Forest Producers - recorded in Georgia in October 2018 (link)
Upcoming Series of Southern Fire Exchange Webinars (link)


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)

HURRICANE RECOVERY ASSISTANCE AVAILABLE THROUGH FLORIDA FARM BUREAU HURRICANE MICHAEL RELIEF FUND
Available through February 15, 2019
Many farm families in Northwest Florida have suffered unprecedented losses due to Hurricane Michael. As part of its response to the crisis, Florida Farm Bureau has created a fund that will help North Florida farm families recovering from the storm. Only North Florida producers with agriculture-related losses or expenses resulting from Hurricane Michael’s wind and flooding may qualify for assistance from the Hurricane Michael Relief Fund for Agriculture. However, the Fund for Agriculture is not limited to members of Florida Farm Bureau Federation.

Apply for assistance at FFBF Hurricane Michael Relief Fund

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. The family’s desire to better understand their land and increase scientific knowledge of wildlife is demonstrated by their gracious accommodation of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s research staff to conduct surveys for uncommon, threatened or endangered species on their property over the last several years, providing critical population and location data on declining species. In addition to hard work at the property, the family engages with the public through presentations to local schools and other groups and media interviews about land stewardship and conservation. In addition to all of these efforts and many others not mentioned here, the family has taken an active role in the formation and leadership of the North Florida Prescribed Burn Association. Join us for a tour of the property and meet these amazing landowners on Friday March 1, 2019. Mark your calendar. Details and registration to be posted on the Florida Land Steward calendar soon.

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

FOREST LANDOWNERS ASSOCIATION ANNOUNCES FUNDING FOR LONGLEAF PINE PLANTING & MANAGEMENT
The Forest Landowners Association has cost-share funds for private forest landowners available through the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation’s Longleaf Stewardship Fund. These funds are intended to enhance longleaf ecosystems for wildlife while promoting and supporting working forests. Contact Lauren Ward, FLA Director of Stewardship Initiatives, at lward@forestlandowners.com to inquire about this opportunity. Funds will be awarded based on location of activity, number of acres being impacted, and overall demand.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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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