Friday, March 7, 2014

Florida Land Steward Update 3/7/14

Florida Land Steward Update
March 7, 2014

Have Land?  Get a Plan and Stay Connected.  Florida Land Steward is your source of assistance, information, events and resources.

News, information and upcoming events below.  
Please share this update with your neighbors, colleagues or others that may be interested.

- Florida Land Steward Newsletter (Winter-Spring 2014 (Vol 3, No 2) and back issues -


News & Info Brief

Listen to the Southeast AgNet interview about the upcoming Forest Stewardship Tour on 3/13. Jim Helmers, owner and operator of Rocky Creek Timber, invites landowners to attend the upcoming Stewardship tour next week. There is still room to register:

Last week was National Invasive Species Awareness Week but every week is in Florida! Non-native plants, animals and pathogens can harm humans and the environment and impact our nation's economy. The cost of damage done by invasive plants alone is in the billions of dollars per year. Invasive weeds can clog waterways, kill native trees, and shade out crops, ornamentals and prized native flora. They are found in every imaginable habitat, including oceans, lakes, streams, wetlands, croplands, rangelands, natural areas, parks, forests, urban environments, yards and gardens.  Ways you can help:

1.        Learn about invasive species. Visit the Florida Invasive Species Partnership web site to learn about our invasive species challenges, partnership efforts to address them and how you can get involved:

2.        Clean hiking boots, waders, boats and trailers, off-road vehicles and other gear to stop invasive species from hitching a ride to a new location.

3.        Avoid dumping aquariums or live bait into waterways.

4.        Use forage, hay, mulch and soil that are certified as "weed free."

5.        Plant only non-invasive plants in your garden, and remove any known invaders.

6.        Report new or expanded invasive species outbreaks on EDDMAPS:

7.        Volunteer to help remove invasive species from public lands and natural areas.

8.        Ask your political representatives at the state, local and national level to support invasive species control efforts.

Speaking of invasive species, Dr. Luke Flory, UF-IFAS Agronomy Dept, is looking at the effects of cogongrass invasion and soil moisture availability on longleaf pine seedling recruitment. He's looking for sites on private lands that would be suitable for his research. Here's what he's looking for:

1.        At least 10 sites total that span the broadest possible range of soil moisture availability from upland sand hills to flatwoods.

2.        All sites need to be invaded by cogongrass – the invasion doesn't have to be contiguous but that would be best. The total area invaded needs to be about 1/4 to 1/3 acre.

3.        The less management over the last 2-3 years the better – and no planned management for the next few years at least. Okay if the surrounding area is managed, just not our plots.

4.        Longleaf overstory if possible.

5.        Within 2 hours travel time of Gainesville.

If you have a site that fits the criteria, contact Dr. Flory at (352) 294-1581,

This month, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) will hold seven public meetings to discuss conservation and management of black bears in central Florida and how people can get involved. Under the FWC’s Florida Black Bear Management Plan approved in 2012, seven bear management units (BMUs) will be established throughout the state. The meetings will offer the public a chance to provide input on local bear issues and allow interested individuals to sign up to be active members of the Central Bear Stakeholder Group. The meetings will be held from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at the following locations:

·         March 11 - Ocala, Howard Middle School Cafetorium, 1655 NW 10th St.

·         March 18 - DeLand, City Hall, 120 S. Florida Ave.

·         March 19 - Fort McCoy, Whiteacre Memorial VFW Post 1020, 23498 NE Highway 314.

·         March 20 - Palatka, Ravine Gardens State Park, 1600 Twigg St.

·         March 25 - Gainesville, City Hall, 200 E. University Ave.

Tax Tips for Forest Landowners for the 2013 Tax Year available. This annual bulletin provides federal income tax reporting tips to assist forest landowners and their advisors in filing their 2013 income tax returns:

More news and info at the Florida Land Steward Blog



EAST FLORIDA (Madison County, east and south)

March 13

Forest Stewardship Tour at Rocky Creek Timber, property of Jim and Mary Helmers (link), Levy County. Timber management, prescribed fire, longleaf pine regeneration, pond management. Details and registration online:

March 13-14

Urban Forestry Institute: Conflict Resolution: Trees Versus Infrastructure (link), Nova Southeastern University, Fort Lauderdale, FL. See link above for details and registration.

March 15

Family Day at the UF-IFAS Dairy Farm, 9 am to 2 pm, 13515 NW CR 237, Alachua (Hague), FL 32615 . For details see:

March 24

2014 Winter Forage Food Plot Field Day, 5:30 pm, Bradford High School FFA Farm, Starke, FL. Contact the Bradford County Office at (904) 966-6224 to register. Registration deadline March 21, 2014.

March 24

Management of Forages for Hay Production and Grazing (link), 10 am to 2 pm. Allison Farms, 3731 SW Salem Rd, Lake City, FL. Free, lunch included. Please RSVP by Friday, March 21, Call (386) 752-5384 or

April 3

Florida Forest Service Landowner Workshop: Habitat Management & Enhancement for Ground Nesting Birds, 9:00-11:30 AM ET at Columbia County Extension Office, 971 W Duval St., Ste. 170, Lake City, FL 32055. This workshop is free but pre-registration is required.  To Register contact Stan Shepard,, (386) 758-5713 by April 1, 2014.

April 24

Forest Stewardship Tour at Simons Tree Farm, property of Bob and Erika Simons, Alachua County. Longleaf pine forest restoration, conservation easement on Santa Fe River. Free, walking tour, lunch included. Details and registration online:

April 28 -
May 1

Florida Wildlife Society and Florida Exotic Pest Plant Council Spring Conference: Breaking Bad in FL - Gaining Ground on Invasive Plants and Wildlife in the 21st Century, Safety Harbor Resort and Spa, Safety Harbor, FL. Details and registration at:

May 5-8

Ignition Planning & Prescribed Fire Techniques for Wildlife, at the Cecil Commerce Center, 13561 Lake Newman Street, Jacksonville, FL.  A full agenda and registration info is available on the chapter website:

May 5-8

2014 Aquatic Weed Short Course, Ft. Lauderdale Coral Springs Marriott Coral Springs, FL. Earn 20+ Florida Pesticide Applicator CEUs, Details and registration at

May 6 -
June 10

FL Master Naturalist Program – Freshwater Wetlands, Ichetucknee Springs State Park, Details and Registration at

May 7-9

Florida Beef Cattle Short Course: "Manage Your Enterprise, Manage Your Herd" (link), Alto and Patricia Straughn IFAS Extension Professional Development Center, Gainesville, FL. See link for details.

May 8

Aquatic Ecosystems Restoration Mini-Course (link), Fort Lauderdale Coral Sprins Marriot. $60 before April 25. See link for details.

May 9

Earth Day Festival, 10 am - 2 pm at USDA Brooksville Plant Materials Center, 14119 Broad Street, Brooksville, FL 34601. Great opportunity to exhibit - exhibitor deadline is April 15.For more information contact Janet Grabowski, 352-796-9600,

August 1-2

2014 Florida Small Farms and Alternative Enterprises Conference (link),
Osceola Heritage Park, Kissimmee, FL
. See link for details and registration.

WEST FLORIDA (Jefferson County and west)

March 10-11

Southeast Regional Mosquito Control Workshop (link), 4750 Collegiate Drive; Panama City, FL 32405. Hosted by Public Health Entomology Services at Florida State University; 10 FL Public Health Pesticide Applicator CEUs anticipated; See link above or Contact: Dr. John Smith, (850) 319-9475. 

May 12-16

Tall Timbers GIS Workshop: Applied Geospatial Solutions in Natural Resources (link), Tall Timbers Research Station. See link for details.

June 23-26

Tall Timbers GIS Workshop: Python Scripting and GIS Programming (link). Tall Timbers Research Station. See link for details.


March - May

USDA Forest Service Rocky Mtn Research Station presents an Invasive Plants Webinar Series (link), see link for dates and details.

March 11

Webinar: Soil Health and Production Benefits of Mob Grazing (link) , 2 pm ET.  See link for details.

March 26

Webinar: Wetland Restoration Hydrology and Design Overview (link), 2 pm ET.  See link for details.

March 28

Webinar: Cover Crops: Why grow a crop you don't sell? (link), 11 am ET.  See link for details.

April 1

Webinar: The status and potential future of biomass harvesting guidelines (link) , 12 - 1 pm ET.  See link for details.

April 3

Webinar: The Clean Water Act and Silviculture Operations, 10:00 to 11:30 am ET, provided by Clemson University, $20 fee. Register at


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More events at these calendars:


UF/IFAS Web Calendar
Florida Forest Stewardship Program Calendar
Florida Master Naturalist Program

Brooker Creek Preserve Events, Pinellas County

Florida Forest Service Training Opportunities

Forestry Webinars

Check with your UF/IFAS County Extension Office for more events in your county:



Florida Land Steward Partnership:









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