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Florida Land Steward Update, April 2, 2021

North Florida Prescribed Burn Association

The North Florida Prescribed Burn Association, photo by Ben Williams

A NEW EDITION OF THE NORTH FLORIDA PRESCRIBED BURN ASSOCIATION’S FIRE IN THE PINES NEWSLETTER NOW AVAILABLE

Wow! This group continues to make excellent progress toward their mission of helping private landowners, who would otherwise likely not use prescribed fire in their land management, implement prescribed burning safely and effectively on their property. This is right in line with a recent NC State study, also highlighted in this issue, that found that Prescribed Burn Association (PBA) members are 281% more willing to apply fire on their own property than those not involved in a PBA. Kudos to the NFPBA leadership and partners for all their hard work getting more prescribed fire implemented on private lands! Read Fire in the Pines Volume 2, Issue 5 here.

HELP FOREST SCIENTISTS ADDRESS IMPORTANT ECOLOGICAL QUESTIONS – PARTICIPATE IN THE FOREST FUNGI PROJECT

The Forest Fungi Project is a community science project associated with the Lankau Lab at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. The project aims to engage the broader forestry and forest landowner community in the process of scientific research while generating data that will address important ecological questions. The Forest Fungi Project was launched in 2015, and we have since had more than 1000 soil samples sent to our lab by park volunteers, youth programs, K-12 and college students, forest landowners, and Master Naturalists – to name a few. We are currently lacking data from southern states and would greatly appreciate samples from that region.

Why fungi? There are thousands of fungi that live in tree roots, called mycorrhizae, that help trees access water and nutrients. Given their importance to forest function, our lab is interested in the diversity and distribution (or the “who is where”) of mycorrhizae fungi across Eastern Temperate Forests – and we need your help!

Participation is easy. Very simply put, we are asking that you send us tree roots from any forested location east of the Mississippi River. More detailed instructions are found on our website linked below. Please visit our website at https://forestfungi.russell.wisc.edu/ for sampling and shipping instructions, and feel free to contact us at forestfungiproject@wisc.plantpath.edu if you have any questions. Share this opportunity with your neighbors, foresters, natural resource professionals, community scientists, and others.

HURRICANE MICHAEL TIMBER RECOVERY BLOCK GRANT PROGRAM EXTENDED TO APRIL 30, 2021

Registration for the Florida Timber Recovery Block Grant Program  is available to forest landowners who suffered damage from Hurricane Michael in October 2018. Funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the program is managed by the Florida Division of Emergency Management (FDEM) in conjunction with the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) and the Florida Forest Service (FFS), which will provide technical assistance to forest landowners required to produce documentation to receive compensation for their loss. The registration deadline is EXTENDED TO APRIL 30, 2021. Make sure you register for this assistance if you lost timber in Hurricane Michael.

The direct link to the Block Grant web page is at FloridaDisaster.org/timber. Register there to begin the application process. For questions about the registration or application process call the FDEM hotline at 850-270-8317.

For more details and tips on the application process and other information see the UF/IFAS Timber Recovery Block Grant blog post.

GET READY FOR THE 2021 HURRICANE SEASON!

This month we are kicking off a webinar series on Hurricane Preparation and Recovery. Join us for the first session on April 15, 2021 at 2 pm for a Hurricane Preparation and Recovery Webinar: Building a Resilient Operation

2021-2025 AMERICAN TREE FARM SYSTEM (ATFS) STANDARDS OF SUSTAINABILITY

The new ATFS Standards of Sustainability will be fully adopted on January 1, 2022. Most of the changes in the new standards are minor and include clarification, guidance, and additional resources to help forest landowners. However, a change in Standard 4 adds the additional requirement of pesticide documentation to meet the requirements of forest certification. Herbicides are in the pesticide category. During the transitional period to the new Standards, if a landowner has not retained this information, they should work with their forester to develop records based on the information they have available (i.e., firsthand knowledge of what, when, why a pesticide was applied). Read the latest on the 2021-2025 American Tree Farm Standards of Sustainability here: https://www.treefarmsystem.org/standards-review

If you have questions regarding Tree Farm certification, please contact your local Tree Farm Inspector. Find your Florida Tree Farm Program District Representative at: https://www.treefarmsystem.org/about-fl.

For guidance on pesticide recordkeeping join us April 21, 2021 at 3:30 pm ET for a webinar on Pesticide Recordkeeping. Details and registration here.

FUNDING AVAILABLE FROM THE NATURE CONSERVANCY (TNC) TO TREAT COGONGRASS IN CENTRAL PANHANDLE REGION OF FLORIDA

If you have a cogongrass problem on property in Calhoun, Gadsden, or Liberty Counties The Nature Conservancy North Florida Program has funding for 120 total acres of cogongrass treatment in counties surrounding the Apalachicola National Forest. Private landowners in Calhoun, Gadsden, and Liberty Counties who would like to be considered for this funding should contact Brian Pelc, (850) 222-0199 x103, bpelc@tnc.org

What does cogongrass look like? See this identification guide for cogongrass.

PRESCRIBED BURN ASSISTANCE AVAILABLE FROM ATTACK-ONE FIRE MANAGEMENT SERVICES, TALL TIMBERS RESEARCH STATION, AND ALACHUA CONSERVATION TRUST

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 call (850) 926-6534

Tall Timbers Research Station is 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. Also see their web page for more details: Private Lands Prescribed Fire Project – Tall Timbers

Alachua Conservation Trust has a prescribed fire specialist available to assist private landowners with burn planning, including that associated with NRCS contacts, 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, 904-838-8591. Barry is also the Coordinator for the North Florida Prescribed Burn Association

2021 FLORIDA LAND STEWARD WALL CALENDARS STILL AVAILABLE

We still have a few 2021 Florida Land Steward calendars available. Request your copy while supplies last. The annual Florida Land Steward calendar features beautiful photography, habitat management tips, landowner and management highlights, resource contacts, and more. Request your calendar by sending an email to cdemers@ufl.edu with your mailing address.

GET FLORIDA LAND STEWARD EMAIL UPDATES

Don’t miss out on news and events! Sign up for the regular email updates! Send an email to Chris at cdemers@ufl.edu to be added to the email listserv. Florida Land Steward email updates are sent once a week or every other week and include the latest calendar of workshops, tours and other events; a link to the current issue of this quarterly newsletter; updates on cost-share and other assistance programs, opportunities, and resources; and other stewardship related news and information.

UPCOMING EVENTS AND WEBINARS

See our Events Calendar and News page for upcoming events, webinars, webinar and event materials, and the latest news on assistance programs and other opportunities and information.

ACCESS THE QUARTERLY FLORIDA LAND STEWARD NEWSLETTER ONLINE

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

HAVE AN EVENT OR RELATED NEWS TO SHARE?

Drop a line with the details and link(s) to Chris Demers at cdemers@ufl.edu.

Florida Land Steward Program LogoCONSIDER A GIFT IN SUPPORT OF THE UF/IFAS FLORIDA LAND STEWARD PROGRAM

The mission of the UF/IFAS Florida Land Steward Program is to help and encourage private landowners to actively manage their land resources for long-term environmental, economic, and social benefits. This program is largely supported by partners and donors. If this program has made a difference in your land stewardship efforts please consider a gift. Support the UF/IFAS Florida Land Steward Program here. Thanks!