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Florida Land Steward Update, June 11, 2021

REPORT WILD TURKEY SIGHTINGS TO THE FWC

Combine your love of the outdoors with the satisfaction of being a citizen scientist by reporting all wild turkeys you see in Florida from now through August 31. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) is interested in sightings of hens with and without poults (young wild turkeys) and male birds (jakes and gobblers) from rural and developed areas. Your reported sightings are an important way to provide FWC biologists with insights into annual nesting success, brood survival, and the distribution and abundance of wild turkeys. Get started reporting at this link: https://myfwc.com/wildlifehabitats/profiles/birds/game-birds/wild-turkeys/

2021 SOUTHERN PINE BEETLE ASSISTANCE AND PREVENTION PROGRAM NOW OPEN FOR ENROLLMENT

Sign up by June 18, 2021
The Southern Pine Beetle (SPB) Assistance and Prevention Program is offered to eligible non-industrial private forest landowners by the Florida Forest Service (FFS) through temporary grants from the USDA Forest Service. Periodic SPB outbreaks in Florida have resulted in millions of cubic feet of pine timber killed on thousands of acres. The goal of this program is to minimize SPB damage in Florida by helping forest landowners conduct management practices that can make their pine stands less susceptible to this destructive insect pest.

Forest management practices such as thinning, prescribed burning, other competition control, and use of less-susceptible pine species can improve the health of pine stands and decrease their likelihood of developing southern pine beetle infestations.

See the Florida Forest Service’s 2021 SPB Assistance and Prevention Program web page for details. Contact your FFS County Forester to enroll. Sign up by June 18.

HURRICANE SEASON IS HERE

Our Florida Land Steward webinar series on hurricane preparation and recovery is underway.. The recording of the June 3 webinar on preparing for the storm is available on demand here.

The recording of the first webinar on Building a Resilient Operation is available here (presented and recorded April 15).

Register here for the August 26 webinar on Steps to Recovery

See the UF Disaster Preparation and Recovery site for useful resources on preparing your home and property, and steps to recovery: https://disaster.ifas.ufl.edu/

We thank the National Wildlife Federation, Florida Forest Service, and Farm Credit Associations of Florida for their support of these webinars. Recordings, presentation slides, and other materials with this and all Florida Land Steward Program webinars can be found here. Keep your eye on the tropics!

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

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. We are looking forward to a stewardship tour at Blackbeard’s Ranch this fall. Watch the calendar for details.

North Florida Prescribed Burn Association

The North Florida Prescribed Burn Association, photo by Ben Williams

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.

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.

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!