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Florida Land Steward Update, October 1, 2021

FALL IS A GOOD TIME TO TREAT COGONGRASS

Cogongrass is an aggressive invasive plant that that has spread to every continent except Antarctica, and is considered among the worst problematic weeds on a global scale. In the US it is naturalized in Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas, and Oregon. Be on the lookout for this grass and control it if you find it. Once established in forests, chemical control is required. Glyphosate, imazapyr, and combinations of the two herbicides are most effective, but eradication will require multiple applications. See these publications for more about:

Cogongrass identification: https://www.cogongrass.org/identification/

Cogongrass control in forest stands: https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/publication/FR411

Cogongrass control on grazing lands: https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/publication/WG202

SIGN UP FOR THE USDA NRCS ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY INCENTIVES PROGRAM (EQIP)

LAST DAY to sign up – October 1, 2021
Florida farmers, ranchers and forest owners can apply until October 1 for financial and technical assistance from USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) for fiscal year 2022 funding. Although applications are accepted on a continuous basis for all programs, funding selections are typically made once a year.

Through EQIP, agricultural landowners may receive financial and technical assistance to improve soil, water, air, plants, animals and related resources. Eligible land includes cropland, rangeland, pastureland, private non-industrial forestland and other farm or ranch lands. The application deadline also applies to the following EQIP-funded initiatives: Organic, On-farm Energy, Longleaf Pine, Working Lands for Wildlife, and Strikeforce. See the USDA NRCS FL EQIP site for details.

Applications will be evaluated for funding based on local, state, and nationally developed criteria to optimize environmental benefits. Applications ranking highest in a funding category will be funded according to priority and is subject to the availability of program funds. Visit your local NRCS field office to learn

LOOKING FOR FUNDS TO HELP WITH PLANTING TREES? SIGN UP FOR THE SEQUESTERING CARBON AND PROTECING FLORIDA LAND PROGRAM

Apply by October 8, 2021
The Florida Forest Service announces a new program in which Florida landowners can be reimbursed for implementing approved tree establishment practices, including site preparation, seedling purchase, and planting. Eligible landowners include non-industrial private landowners, a county or local government, or a legally organized and registered nonprofit organization, entity or institution owning its own lands. Application deadline is Friday, October 8, 2021

Learn more & apply online: FDACS.gov/CarbonProgram

Questions? Email FFS_CFA@FDACS.gov or contact your local County Forester.

LOCAL WORKING GROUPS TO SET USDA NRCS CONSERVATION PRIORITIES IN FLORIDA

Local landowners and land managers know the priority natural resource issues and needs of their counties. That’s why the USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in Florida gives them a seat at the table at local working group meetings.

Here farmers, ranchers, forest landowners, conservation partners and the public discuss natural resource needs and priorities for their county. NRCS and soil and water conservation districts host the meetings and provide input and recommendations to the NRCS state conservationist and the State Technical Committee to develop solutions using Farm Bill programs. You are invited to get involved. Find a complete list of upcoming local working group meetings, times, and locations here.

Mr. Jim Strickland, 2021 Florida Land Steward of the Year, receiving his Wildlife Habitat Recognition Program sign. Photo by Luis Gonzalez.

2021 FLORIDA LAND STEWARD OF THE YEAR

A lifelong resident of Manatee County and sixth generation Floridian with over six decades of ranching experience, Mr. Jim Strickland has developed a strong land ethic and is passionate about preserving the working and wild lands of his home state. Jim is owner of Strickland Ranch and managing partner of Blackbeard’s Ranch, both located in Manatee County. It is for his work and accomplishments on Blackbeard’s Ranch that he is recognized with the 2021 Florida Land Steward of the Year Award.  More about Mr. Jim Strickland and Blackbeard’s Ranch here. Register for the October 28 Tour at Blackbeard’s Ranch.

KEEP AN EYE ON THE TROPICS!

Hurricane season isn’t over yet! See the National Hurricane Center for the latest on tropical weather activity.

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.

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

The Spring-Summer 2021 issue is now available! 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!