Hope this finds everyone well and enjoying the summer, and maybe even getting a little growing-season prescribed burns in between the soggy spells. Wish we could share some of our wet weather with the western states. I just heard about a virtual workshop on invasive species happening this Friday 7/16 so getting this update out in the middle of this week so you have a chance to participate in that if you want. You may have noticed some in-person events popping up on the calendar. More are in the works. Looking forward to seeing you out in the field before too long. COVID variants are on the move so get protected if you haven’t yet so we can put this pandemic behind us.
LATEST ISSUE OF THE NORTH FLORIDA PRESCRIBED BURN ASSOCIATION NEWSLETTER, FIRE IN THE PINES, IS NOW AVAILABLE
The great work of this organization continues! In this issue: NFPBA President’s Message, Drought Doesn’t Halt NFPBA Progress, Blueberries & Fire: Lessons Learned, 2021 General Membership Meeting – August 14, Membership Update, Hotspot Profile: Jason Ballard
Sign up by September 1, 2021
Florida farmers, ranchers and forest owners can apply until Sept. 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 more.
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/
HURRICANE SEASON IS HERE – KEEP AN EYE ON THE TROPICS
Our Florida Land Steward webinar series on hurricane preparation and recovery is underway. The recordings and materials for these and all FL Land Steward Program webinars can be found here.
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.
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, email@example.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, firstname.lastname@example.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 email@example.com, 904-838-8591. Barry is also the Coordinator for the North Florida Prescribed Burn Association.
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 later this fall. Watch the calendar for details.
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, firstname.lastname@example.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 email@example.com 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.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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!