Florida Land Steward Update, January 13, 2023

FLORIDA TREE FARM PROGRAM PREPARES FOR 2023 ASSESSMENT

The Florida Tree Farm Program is preparing for our 2023 program assessment.  The Program has been assessed three times since 2010 with no significant issues.  The purpose of the assessment is to ensure the Florida Tree Farm Program is meeting the 2021 American Forest Foundation Standards of Sustainability.

A small percentage of Florida Tree Farms will be selected for the assessment. The assessors will look at the selected landowner’s management plan and then an interview will be conducted at the landowner’s convenience. The interviews will be conducted at the property and a Florida Tree Farm representative will accompany the assessor. We will begin the assessment process in January 2023 and if your Tree Farm is chosen you will receive a phone call soon (if not already). The assessment is not a judgement of your management. Rather, your property is viewed as a sample of how the state program applies the Standards on properties statewide. If selected, participation in the assessment is required as a condition of certification. However, if you are unable to participate for reasons beyond your control, please let us know so other arrangements can be made.

Please contact your inspector if you need an update to your management plan or if your Tree Farm has not been inspected since 2018. For more information contact the Florida Tree Farm Program at (352) 727-2985 or by email at: gregory.marshall@fdacs.gov.

EMERGENCY CONSERVATION PROGRAM DEADLINE EXTENDED TO MARCH 23, 2023

If you suffered severe damage from Hurricane Ian, you may be eligible for assistance from the Emergency Conservation Program (ECP) administered by the USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA). For land to be eligible, the natural disaster must have created new conservation problems that, if untreated, would be so costly to rehabilitate and return the land to productive agricultural use; created unusual damage that would not recur frequently in the same area; affected the productive capacity of the farmland; and/or impaired or endangered the land. For more information about ECP, contact your Local USDA Service Center. Apply by March 23.

SIGN UP OPEN FOR USDA NRCS CONSERVATION EASEMENT PROGRAMS

Apply by January 31, 2023
The Agricultural Conservation Easement Program (ACEP) protects the agricultural viability and related conservation values of eligible land by limiting nonagricultural uses which negatively affect agricultural uses and conservation values. The ACEP protects grazing uses and related conservation values by restoring or conserving eligible grazing land. Under the Wetland Reserve Easement (WRE) component, landowners restore wetlands impacted by agriculture. Easements provide habitat for fish and wildlife, including threatened and endangered species, improve water quality, reduce flooding, recharge groundwater, protect biological diversity, provide resilience to climate change, and provide opportunities for limited recreational activities. Contact your local NRCS office to apply for ACEP by January 31, 2023 for FY2023 funding.

SIGN UP OPEN FOR USDA NRCS CONSERVATION STEWARDSHIP PROGRAM

Sign up by February 24
Through the voluntary Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP), the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) works one-on-one with producers to develop a conservation plan that outlines and enhances existing efforts while improving their agricultural operations. Using new conservation practices or activities, agricultural producers can adopt practices and activities that expand on the benefits of cleaner water and air, healthier soil, and better wildlife habitat, all based on management objectives specific to their farming operation. Contact your local NRCS office for more information.

ONLINE FOREST LANDOWNER ACADEMY LAUNCHING SOON!

The Forest Landowner Academy is the first of its kind offered by the UF/IFAS School of Forest, Fisheries, and Geomatics Sciences. Forest landowners are encouraged to enroll to engage in quality, core educational content on forestry and multiple-use stewardship concepts through the UF/IFAS Extension Online Learning catalog. Gain knowledge and skills related to forest resources and active management that you can use in your land management and planning. The course will also provide some important background knowledge and context on topics discussed in more detail at Florida Land Steward Program and other partner events and webinars offered each year.
Details about cost and enrollment will be shared in these email updates in the coming weeks. Questions can be directed to Chris Demers, cdemers@ufl.edu

Doug and Teresa Moore at South Prong Plantation
DOUG AND TERESA MOORE ARE 2022 NATIONAL OUTSTANDING TREE FARMER OF THE YEAR!!

A huge CONGRATULATIONS to Doug and Teresa Moore, recipients of the American Tree Farm System’s 2022 National Outstanding Tree Farmer of the Year Award! This is a tremendous honor for Doug and Teresa and for the Florida Tree Farm Program as well. Read more about Doug and Teresa Moore, their hard work at South Prong Plantation, and their ATFS Award here.

2023 FLORIDA LAND STEWARD WALL CALENDARS

Get your copy while supplies last! An annual land stewardship tradition, the Florida Land Steward calendar features beautiful photography, habitat management tips, landowner and management highlights, resource contacts, partnership opportunities, and more. Request your calendar by sending an email to cdemers@ufl.edu with your mailing address. These are first come, first serve to interested landowners, while supplies last.

Support the calendar! If you have enjoyed this calendar and find it useful please contribute to future editions! You can donate at https://wildlifeflorida.org/wildlife/ In the “Comments” field please indicate “Private Lands Fund”. Thank you!

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 the quarterly Florida Land Steward 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 and webinars.

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 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: January 13, 2023


Category: Conservation, Disaster Preparation, Forests, Invasive Species, NATURAL RESOURCES, Recreation, UF/IFAS Extension, Water, Wildlife
Tags: Conservation Easements, Disaster Recovery, Ecosystem Services, Family Forest, Florida Land Steward Program, Forest Health, Forest Management, Forestry, Online Course, Timber, Tree Farm, Trees, Wildlife


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