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Registration is Open for Hurricane Michael Timber Recovery Block Grant Program

Registration for the Florida Timber Recovery Block Grant Program is open for 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. Registration deadline is Friday November 20, 2020.

ELIGIBILITY AND REGISTRATION
To be eligible for the Florida Timber Recovery Block Grant Program (TRBG), a producer must:
  1. Be the owner of record or the lessee who has rights to the timber crop at the time of application of a minimum of 10 contiguous acres of nonindustrial private forest land located in one of the following counties: Bay, Calhoun, Franklin, Gadsden, Gulf, Hamilton, Holmes, Jackson, Jefferson, Leon, Liberty, Madison, Okaloosa, Suwannee, Taylor, Wakulla, Walton and Washington
  2. Have stands of timber that sustained a minimum of 25 percent loss due to Hurricane Michael
  3. To learn more and register for the TRBG, visit FloridaDisaster.org/timber
INFORMATION TO HAVE READY FOR THE TRBG APPLICATION

After completing the registration form (online) you will be contacted via phone, within 5 business days, by an Account Manager. Your Account Manager will guide you through the remainder of the application process. Having the following information available will be necessary or helpful during your completion of the TRBG application. While not necessary to complete the initial registration form, please have the information below available when your Account Manager contacts you.

  1. Federal Tax ID # if applying with a business entity, Social Security # if applying as an individual
  2. Contact information of authorized agent/point of contact of business entity if applying on behalf of a business or individual owner
  3. County Name(s) and Parcel Identification Numbers of ALL parcels that have timber stands you are applying for. It is important to have this list ready to expedite the process of the site inspection. If you need help identifying your parcel ID #s, work with your account manager on your intake phone call to verify.
  4. Insurance Payment: Did you file/receive an insurance payment or federal financial assistance for damage to your timber crop as a result of Hurricane Michael? If yes, have those documents ready to review. If no, then disregard this item.
  5. The next few items may or may not be used in the process of reviewing your application, but they will he helpful to have at hand if available:
  • Land management plan and associated farm/stand maps
  • Timber planting records
  • Third party loss certification(s) from damage incurred from Hurricane Michael
  • Site photos, aerial photography, or satellite imagery of your timber stands
  • If you currently operate the timber stand with a lease, please have the lease ready for your call to review.
  • If your ownership situation requires a Power of Attorney (POA), please have a copy ready to review.
  • If you share ownership of the land/timber stand, please have documentation that outlines what % ownership each partner has.
CONTACTS

For questions about the registration or application process call the FDEM hotline at 850-270-8317. Producers can also email questions to timber@em.myflorida.com.

FOREST RECOVERY WEBINAR SERIES CONTINUES EVERY THURSDAY AT 1 PM CT (2 PM ET) THROUGH OCTOBER 1, 2020.

Join us to get details about the long awaited Timber Recovery Block Grant Program, an update local timber markets, some tips on determining what kind of trees are right for you and your property, having success with longleaf pine, invasive species to be looking out for, and more. Join us to get the information you need to take the next steps in forest recovery:
Forest Recovery Webinar Series Announcement (PDF)

Live webinars are approved for 1.0 SAF CFE credits. Presentation slides, webinar recordings, and supplemental reading material for this Forest Recovery Webinar Series are all available at Florida Land Steward Webinar Materials.

See Kirsten Romaguera’s related IFAS Blog post:
UF/IFAS to provide educational support for timber producers recovering from Hurricane Michael

BACKGROUND

Hurricane Michael made landfall in Mexico Beach as a Category 5 storm on October 10, 2018, bellowing through Florida with maximum sustained winds of 160 mph and leaving an estimated 500 million trees broken, uprooted, or blown over. The economic loss has been conservatively estimated at $1.3 billion for timber alone, accounting for most of the $1.5 billion loss in total Florida agricultural commodities. The hardest hit areas are some of the most forested counties in the state.

In November 2019, U.S. Secretary Sonny Perdue announced the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) would make available $800 million in block grants to agricultural producers in Alabama, Florida, and Georgia affected by hurricanes Michael and Florence. The state block grants are part of a broader $3 billion disaster relief package to help producers recover from 2018 and 2019 natural disasters. The Florida Timber Recovery Block Grant is the first-ever state block grant for timber producers from the USDA.