Florida Land Steward Update, April 1, 2022

USDA PREPARING SUPPORT FOR FIRE-AFFECTED COUNTIES IN NORTHWEST FLORIDA

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Florida Farm Service Agency’s (FSA) announces Bay, Liberty, Franklin, Gulf and Calhoun counties have received preliminary authorization for the implementation of the Emergency Forest Restoration Program (EFRP).

EFRP provides financial assistance for non-industrial private forestlands impacted by natural disaster. Additional counties can be added to this authorization if FSA county offices receive reports of loss from affected landowners. FSA offices are utilizing Geographic Information System (GIS) mapping to identify existing FSA customers and conducting loss assessment reports to determine timber, crop and physical losses. Wildfires span multiple counties and are in varying stages of containment. USDA will continue to monitor damage, evaluate loss and prepare to implement disaster programs. Find  your local USDA contacts at your county USDA Service Center.

Get your farm records in to FSA in advance. Wildfire season is upon us and hurricane season is around the corner. Remember that you can complete your USDA Farm Service Agency farm records ahead of time. Don’t wait for disaster to strike to get your records completed. With your farm records in to FSA you will receive E-notifications about recovery programs from FSA after a disaster and be a big step ahead in the process to receive assistance. Contact your local USDA FSA office to get started.

 

Wildfire, photo by Florida Forest Service
WILDFIRE SEASON – TAKE SOME STEPS TO PROTECT YOUR HOME AND PROPERTY

The recent wildfires in northwest Florida are a strong reminder to maintain some defensible space around our homes to protect property from a dangerous wildfire. The goal of defensible space is to create and maintain a safety zone around the home, which increases the likelihood that a home will survive a wildfire even in the absence of firefighters.

Defensible space should extend outward from the home from 30 feet (minimum) to 100 to 200 feet if the home borders heavy wildland fuels. This area does not need to be devoid of shrubs and trees, but should be wisely landscaped with plants known to be less flammable separated by walkways and grassed areas. See this Florida Forest Service page for more on creating and improving defensible space and protecting your property from a wildfire.

 

TAX TIPS FOR FOREST LANDOWNERS FOR THE 2021 TAX YEAR

April has arrived and that’s no joke! To help you understand the forestry specific tax provisions and how the general tax rules apply to your forestry activities, here are the Tax Tips for Forest Landowners for the 2021 Tax Year.  See the Regional Woodland Stewards webinar series on this topic in the prerecorded on-demand webinars in the events calendar. The deadline for tax returns this year is April 18.

 

Bill Black and Denise Matthews at Sparkleberry Farm, Alachua County, Florida, photo by Bill Black
CONGRATULATIONS BILL BLACK AND DENISE MATTHEWS, 2022 FLORIDA LAND STEWARDS OF THE YEAR!

We congratulate Bill Black and Denise Matthews for the outstanding stewardship of their Sparkleberry Farm property in Alachua County. As a result of their continuous planning and hard work the property is home to abundant wildlife, longleaf pine, naturally regenerated slash and loblolly pine stands, hardwood swamps, and a rich groundcover of unique and rare plants. Bill and Denise look forward to continuing their stewardship journey at Sparkleberry Farm and beyond by encouraging research and education, and taking opportunities to promote land stewardship to fellow landowners and the public. Read more about our 2022 Florida Land Stewards of the Year here.

Bill and Denise will  be recognized at our UF/IFAS School of Forest, Fisheries, and Geomatics Sciences Spring Celebration on April 2, 2022.

 

PRESCRIBED BURN ASSISTANCE AVAILABLE FROM ATTACK-ONE FIRE MANAGEMENT SERVICES, TALL TIMBERS RESEARCH STATION, AND ALACHUA CONSERVATION TRUST

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) 926-6534These organizations are available to meet onsite with landowners to discuss their goals and assist with prescribed burn prescription and implementation.

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 and implementation in Alachua, Putnam, Marion, Levy, Bradford, Clay, Union, and portions of Columbia, Suwannee, Flagler, Volusia, Lake, Sumter, and Citrus Counties. Contact Barry Coulliette at barry@alachuaconservationtrust.org , 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.

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.

CONSIDER 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!

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Posted: April 1, 2022


Category: Conservation, Disaster Preparation, Forests, Invasive Species, NATURAL RESOURCES, UF/IFAS Extension, Wildlife
Tags: Disasterpreparation, Floridalandsteward, Forest, Management, Prescribedfire, Timber, Timbertax, Trees, Wildfire


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