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Florida Land Steward Update, June 24, 2020

PUBLIC COMMENT PERIOD OPEN FOR 2020-2025 AMERICAN TREE FARM STANDARDS OF SUSTAINABILITY

The American Tree Farm System® (ATFS) announced a second 60-day public comment period during the review process of the ATFS Standards of Sustainability. The ATFS Standards are the benchmark for all ATFS forest certifications and its national network of certified inspectors and certificate holders. All certifications are third-party audited.

During this review period, running until August 2, the public is encouraged to provide feedback on the proposed 2020-2025 Standards of Sustainability, which reflect comments submitted during a first public comment period, conducted earlier this year. In addition, the public is also invited to submit feedback on the Requirements for Independently Managed Groups (IMGs).
Read the full press release and access the information and comment form at: https://www.forestfoundation.org/atfs-standards-public-comment-period

SIGN UP FOR THE LONGLEAF PINE PRIVATE LANDOWNER INCENTIVE PROGRAM

Private forest landowners interested in establishing and managing a longleaf pine forest are encouraged to sign up. This enrollment period is open until July 8, 2020. The program offers landowners technical guidance and incentive payments for conducting certain approved forest management practices that help establish or improve longleaf pine stands. The program offers incentive payments for: longleaf pine seedling establishment, timber stand improvement, prescribed burning, native plant understory establishment, mechanical underbrush treatments, and invasive plant control treatments.

The Longleaf Pine Private Landowner Incentive Program application period is open through July 8th. The application form, 2020 Technical Guidelines booklet, and general information are available on the program webpage at: https://www.fdacs.gov/Divisions-Offices/Florida-Forest-Service/For-Landowners/Programs/Longleaf-Pine-Private-Landowner-Incentive-Program
For more information contact your Florida Forest Service County Forester or Jen Tucker-Jenks, Conservation Programs Manager, (850) 681-5874, Jennifer.Tucker-Jenks@FDACS.gov

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

TNC North Florida Program has received a grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency 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

EMERGENCY FOREST RESTORATION PROGRAM DEADLINE FOR HURRICANE MICHAEL EXTENDED THROUGH OCTOBER 30, 2020

The USDA Florida Farm Service Agency State Committee has authorized an additional six-month extension to the Emergency Forest Restoration Program (EFRP) and Emergency Conservation Program (ECP) late filing period. This allows producers impacted by Hurricane Michael to apply for assistance under EFRP and/or ECP and be considered timely if application is made by the new deadline of October 30, 2020. Contact your local FSA office to set up an appointment. Find your local FSA office here.

AGREEMENT REACHED ON HURRICANE MICHAEL STATE BLOCK GRANT NEGOTIATIONS

The State of Florida and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) have announced the successful end of negotiations on the administration of $380.7 million in grant funding to help Florida’s timber industry recover following Hurricane Michael in 2018. It is expected that timber producers could begin to receive funding as soon as this fall. Read Governor Ron DeSantis’s press release here. See more details on the Florida Forestry Association’s 411 bulletin. We will post the latest information in Florida Land Steward Updates so stay tuned for sign-up details.

TAX TIPS FOR FOREST LANDOWNERS FOR THE 2019 TAX YEAR

The extended tax filing deadline is July 15 . The Federal income tax laws contain forestry-specific provisions that are important for those managing and conserving timber. This publication provides forest owners, foresters, loggers, and timber businesses a guide to the applicable Federal income tax laws, including the latest tax law changes, for filing 2019 tax returns. The information is not intended to render legal or accounting advice and is current as of September 30, 2019. Access the 2019 timber tax tips and more related information at https://www.timbertax.org/

CHECK OUT THE FLORIDA LAND STEWARD CALENDAR OF WORKSHOPS, TOURS, WEBINARS AND OTHER RELATED EVENTS

https://programs.ifas.ufl.edu/florida-land-steward/bulletin-board/events-calendar/

SIGN UP FOR FLORIDA LAND STEWARD EMAIL UPDATES

Don’t miss out on news and events! Sign up for the regular email updates! Send an email to 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.

HAVE AN EVENT OR RELATED NEWS TO SHARE?

Drop a line to Chris Demers, cdemers@ufl.edu