FOREST RESLILENCE, HURRICANE PREPARATION AND RECOVERY TOURS UNDERWAY IN NORTHWEST FLORIDA
Thanks everyone who joined us or is planning to join us for one of our Florida Land Steward events up in northwest Florida. Our first event on March 9 at Blackwater River State Forest was a success, and we even pulled off a prescribed burn demonstration. We explored several forest management and resilience topics: preparing for hurricanes and other natural disasters, the process of breeding and producing genetically improved pine stock, selecting the right tree species and planting stock, improving the stand to enhance forest health and wildlife habitat, timber sales, controlling invasive species, best Management Practices to protect water and wildlife, and more. See the Florida Land Steward Facebook page to see photos from the event. Our next event is a Hurricane Preparation and Recovery Tour on March 23 at a few private properties in Escambia County
IT’S TAX SEASON: TAX TIPS FOR FOREST LANDOWNERS IN THE 2022 TAX YEAR
Many forestry activities we conduct can have tax implications. Generally, all income received is taxable unless excluded by tax law, and nothing is deductible unless a provision allows it. Understanding the forest-related provisions and integrating tax planning into your forest management can help lower your overall taxes. See the 2022 Forest Landowners Tax Tips guide here.
*Dr. Tammy Cushing, Forest Business Extension Specialist at University of Florida, is providing an interactive forum about income taxes associated with timber sales, understanding your basis, and more on the online Family Forest community network. Connect to Family Forest Community here.
All timber tax information is intended to be an informational and educational resource for you and your tax advisor, but is not intended as financial, tax, or legal advice. As always, consult with your tax advisor concerning your particular tax situation.
NEW LANDOWNER ASSISTANCE AVAILABLE FROM QUAIL FOREVER BIOLOGISTS
Quail Forever is a non-profit organization dedicated to upland habitat conservation through habitat improvements, public access, education, and conservation advocacy. We are excited to have Farm Bill Biologists in Florida providing technical assistance to landowners interested in improving the health of their land for wildlife, clean water, and other important natural resources. Biologists are available to assist landowners through the application process for USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) Farm Bill programs.
Florida Quail Forever Biologist positions are supported through partnership with USDA NRCS Working Lands for Wildlife Framework and in cooperation with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. Our focus is Northern Bobwhite quail and upland habitats. Technical assistance to private landowners includes answering wildlife management questions, working with landowners to identify habitat objectives and develop wildlife habitat management plans, and connecting them to resources and applicable programs.
Those interested in assistance can reach out to either of our Florida Quail Forever Biologists: Nicole Itzkowitz, email@example.com based in Kissimmee (Central Florida including Lake, Sumter, Seminole, Orange, Brevard and Osceola counties) or Katie Maddox, firstname.lastname@example.org based in Quincy (Gadsden, Leon, Jackson, Calhoun, Liberty, Wakulla, Jefferson, Madison and Hamilton counties). If you do not see your county listed, please contact the biologist closest to you.
HELP NEEDED WITH EASTERN DIAMONDBACK RATTLESNAKE STATUS ASSESSMENT
The US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) has been petitioned to list the eastern diamondback rattlesnake as a threatened or endangered species. They are now working on a Species Status Assessment (SSA), which they plan to have a draft of in the fall of 2023. This Assessment will be used for all decisions associated with the Endangered Species Act (ESA), including whether a species should be listed as endangered/threatened or not. The assessment allows for State and partner engagement in the science used to base ESA decisions. This is our opportunity to let USFWS know how many eastern diamondback rattlesnakes we are seeing in Florida.
You can help! The National Council on Air and Stream Improvement (NCASI) has an online survey where you can submit observations of eastern diamondbacks. Please be sure to observe snakes from a safe distance and don’t attempt to kill them.
CONGRATULATIONS STEPHEN AND DANNA MATHENY, 2023 FLORIDA LAND STEWARD LANDOWNERS OF THE YEAR
Stephen and Danna Matheny own and manage approximately 90 acres in Madison County, Florida, most of which has been in their family for generations. Steve dedicated the rest of his life to the conservation and restoration of the longleaf pine forest and habitats on their property. He participates in the local Madison Landowner Cooperative Group and hosts school children for lessons in longleaf pine ecology. These interactions educate the next generation of longleaf advocates and encourage other landowners to explore options for wildlife conservation and habitat restoration on their own properties. Their property remains one of the last areas of intact groundcover and adult longleaf pines actively maintained with fire in the area, and they are working to keep it that way for many years to come. Learn more about the 2023 Florida Land Steward Landowners of the Year. See the FWC press release from their recognition at the Feb 21 Commissioner’s meeting in Jacksonville, FL
ONLINE FOREST LANDOWNER ACADEMY OPEN FOR ENROLLMENT!
The Forest Landowner Academy is the first of its kind offered by the University of Florida IFAS School of Forest, Fisheries, and Geomatics Sciences on the UF/IFAS Extension Online Learning catalog. Forest Landowners, and others in need of forest management information, are encouraged to enroll to connect with forest management experts at the University of Florida and receive quality core educational content on forestry and multiple-use stewardship concepts.
The 7 course modules cover a variety of topics on understanding your forest resources, developing your management plan, timber management, marketing forest products, other forest enterprises such as pine straw and hunting leases, wildlife management, and planning for the future. Each module includes recorded video from the field or virtual classroom, links to references, and an assessment where you can apply what you’ve learned to your land or situation and begin or continue planning and making contacts. The cost of the course is $150. Those completing the course will earn a University of Florida Certificate of Completion.
See and share details about this course in the Forest Landowner Academy blog post.
Enroll in the Forest Landowner Academy today:
Questions about the course can be directed to Chris Demers, email@example.com, (352) 846-2375.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
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 email@example.com 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 email@example.com.
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!