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Florida Land Steward Update, November 5, 2021

FLORIDA FORESTS WEEK

Thanks for your part in highlighting the benefits of Florida’s Forests this week. As Forests Week comes to a close this weekend, we have some new resources and assistance programs available, new events on the calendar, and outstanding land stewards to recognize. New cost-shares are available from the Forest Landowners Association for planting and managing longleaf pine. The USDA NRCS announces a sign-up period for the Conservation Stewardship Program, and we highlight our 2021 Land Steward, Outstanding Tree Farmers, and Outstanding Tree Farm Inspector of the Year.

FALL-WINTER 2021 ISSUE OF FLORIDA LAND STEWARD NEWSLETTER NOW AVAILABLE

In this issue: 2021 Jon Gould Florida Outstanding Tree Farmers of the Year: Ben and Louann Williams, Association of Consulting Foresters Consultants Corner: Invasive Plants, Pond Pine: The Underdog Fire Pine, Timber Price Update, Certified Landowners. Access the current and back issues of the newsletter here.

COST-SHARE FUNDS AVAILABLE FROM FOREST LANDOWNERS ASSOCIATION FOR PLANTING OR MANAGING LONGLEAF PINE

Apply by November 30, 2021
The Forest Landowners Association has cost-share funds available through the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation’s Longleaf Landscape Stewardship Fund for private landowners to establish, enhance, or maintain longleaf pine on their property. To qualify, you must plan to plant new longleaf pine or manage existing longleaf pine between November 2021 and July 2022, and fill out the application linked below and submit it by Tuesday, November 30, 2021.

Funds are awarded based on several factors, including location of activity as well as number of acres being impacted. Award recipients will be notified in early December 2021. Learn more and apply here for the Longleaf Pine Cost-share.

SIGN UP FOR CONSERVATION STEWARDSHIP PROGRAM

Apply up by December 10, 2021
The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is accepting applications from agricultural producers and forest landowners for the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP). Agricultural producers and forest landowners looking to build on conservation efforts while strengthening their operation can apply for technical and financial assistance through CSP.

NRCS can custom design a CSP plan to help you meet a variety of production and conservation goals. While CSP applications are accepted year-round, Florida producers and landowners should apply by December 10, 2021 to be considered for funding in the current cycle. Find the NRCS District Conservationist for your area your area here: http://offices.sc.egov.usda.gov/locator/app

Ashlee White with Santa Rosa County Tree Farmer, Michael Price

CONGRATULATIONS ASHLEE WHITE: 2021 GLEN HARRIS TREE FARM INSPECTOR OF THE YEAR

Ashlee White has served as County Forester for Santa Rosa County since 2016 and has been very active in assisting private landowners who are pursuing sustainable forest management for multiple benefits, certification in the American Tree Farm System, and many other efforts. She has built relationships with consultants, partner agencies, landowners, and community members through management planning assistance and involvement in outreach programs for a variety of audiences.  Read more about Ashlee White here.

Ben and Louann Williams, Wetland Preserve, Putnam County. Photo by Elizabeth Guthrie

CONGRATULATIONS BEN AND LOUANN WILLAIMS OF WETLAND PRESERVE: 2021 JON GOULD FLORIDA OUTSTANDING TREE FARMERS OF THE YEAR

The Florida Tree Farm Program is proud to congratulate Ben and Louann Williams of Putnam County as Florida’s 2021 Jon Gould Outstanding Tree Farmers of the Year. Every management decision at Wetland Preserve aims to provide sustainable timber products while integrating wildlife habitat improvements for pollinators, gopher tortoises, deer, turkey, quail, bear, fish, and songbirds. Louann and Ben passionately promote the many stewardship organizations they are involved with including the Florida Forestry Association, Forest Stewardship Program, Florida Tree Farm Program, and the North Florida Prescribed Burn Association. The Williams exemplify the values and mission of the Tree Farm Program; combining wood, water, wildlife, and recreation values, and sharing their efforts and conservation values with other landowners and the public. Read  more about the Williams and Wetland Preserve.

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

CONGRATULATIONS MR. JIM STRICKLAND: 2021 FLORIDA LAND STEWARD OF THE YEAR

THANKS everyone who joined us for the tour last week at Blackbeard’s Ranch in Manatee County to recognize Mr. Jim Strickland, our 2021 Florida Land Steward of the year! The weather cooperated miraculously and we enjoyed a great day. See highlights and photos from yesterday’s tour at  https://www.facebook.com/FloridaLandStewardPartnership

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.

2022 FLORIDA LAND STEWARD WALL CALENDARS AVAILABLE SOON

It’s time to request your copy of the 2022 Florida Land Steward wall calendar. The annual Florida Land Steward calendar features beautiful photography, habitat management tips, landowner and management highlights, resource contacts, and more. These make a great Holiday gift for the land steward or outdoor enthusiast on your list. Request your calendar by sending an email to cdemers@ufl.edu with your mailing address. These are first come, first serve to interested landowners.

Gopher Tortoise, photo by Billy Boothe

FLORIDA FISH AND WILDLIFE CONSERVATION COMMISSION (FWC) SEEKS LANDOWNERS TO HELP WITH GOPHER TORTOISE CONSERVATION

The FWC is seeking landowners to help with gopher tortoise conservation efforts as part of the agency’s Gopher Tortoise Recipient Site Program. The program benefits landowners and tortoises and is compatible with other land uses, such as hunting and wetland mitigation. The Gopher Tortoise Recipient Site Program provides landowners with an opportunity to generate additional revenue from their lands, as the landowner may charge a market-based fee for each tortoise received at the site. The price landowners can charge per tortoise received at an approved site is not set by the FWC, so the landowner can adjust the fee based on their needs.

FWC staff will assist property owners whose lands meet the recipient site criteria throughout the application process. They will also help landowners make improvements to their land to improve quality habitat for gopher tortoises and other wildlife. To learn more about gopher tortoises, the recipient program and how to apply, visit https://MyFWC.com/GopherTortoise. See the webinar on this topic on November 18.

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

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!