Title: Florida forest steward
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Title: Florida forest steward
Physical Description: Serial
Language: English
Creator: Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida
Publisher: Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida
Place of Publication: Gainesville, Fla.
Publication Date: Winter 1998
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Bibliographic ID: UF00090040
Volume ID: VID00009
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
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The Florida Forest Steward
A arterly Newsletter for Florida Landowners and Resource Professiorals


-I-1





Volume 5, No. 1
Winter, 1998





We trust you are off and running with the new year. After a longer than normal time since
our last newsletter, we have a busy schedule planned to keep you up-to-date on information
that may help your forest stewardship. Some important staff additions at the School of Forest
Resources and Conservation will help this effort immensely.

Martha Monroe, whose area of expertise is environmental education and communications,
joined the faculty in January. In her last position, Martha was Resource Center Director for
GreenCom, an international environmental education program for developing countries. She
is new to Florida's ecosystems, but looks forward to learning about Florida's enormous
biodiversity and management challenges.

Martha earned her Ph.D., Masters and Bachelors degrees from the School of Natural
Resources at the University of Michigan. Her areas of interest are teacher education, training,
curriculum development, evaluation and outreach--all in the context of sustainable resource
use. In addition to supporting extension efforts in 4-H, Project Learning Tree, and other
public education projects, Martha will be developing courses in natural resources
communication and environmental education program development.

Chris Latt is the new forest stewardship coordinator at UF, and will serve as editor of this
newsletter, organize workshops, and prepare a number of publications. Chris has a broad-
based forestry background which meshes well with the forest stewardship concept. He
earned his Ph.D. (agroforestry) at the University of Florida, and his Masters (forest ecology/
silviculture) and Bachelors (forest recreation) degrees at Oregon State University. If you
have questions or suggestions, contact Chris at (352) 846-2375 or CRLA@gnv.ifas.ufl.edu.

I Welcome to the New Year I WHIP Sign up Period I EQIP Sign up Period I Family Timberland Partnerships I Estate Planning I Growing Shiitake
Mushrooms in Florida I Effects of Clearcutting on Wildlife I Recent Extension Publications I Two Free Tax Publications I Upcoming Workshops and
Symposia I





Landowners participating in the Forest Stewardship Program may be interested in an
important and interesting new element of the 1996 Farm Bill: the Wildlife Habitat Incentive
Program (WHIP). The program provides cost-share incentives for the development,
enhancement, and restoration of wildlife habitats, for both game and non-game species, on all
land uses. Eligible practices will be similar to those that are currently available for cost-shares
under the Stewardship Incentives Program (SIP). Through a cooperative effort, the USDA
Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS), the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the
Florida Freshwater Fish and Game Commission will provide technical assistance for planning
and application of appropriate practices. Private lands, tribal lands, and state and county lands
are all eligible under the program. Federally managed lands are excluded.
Cost-share incentives are 75% of landowner costs, up to the maximum allowable total cost-
share per contract of $10,000 per fiscal year.
To qualify, total ownerships must be at least 20 acres in size. Proposed treatment areas,
however, can be much smaller.

Top The first WHIP signup will begin on March 1. Local NRCS offices will accept landowner
applications on a continuous basis, and approve them as funds become available.

| Welcome to the New Year I WHIP Sign up Period I EQIP Sign up Period I Family Timberland Partnerships I Estate Planning I Growing Shiitake
Mushrooms in Florida I Effects of Clearcutting on Wildlife I Recent Extension Publications I Two Free Tax Publications I Upcoming Workshops and
Symposia I



The second signup period for this program (known as EQIP) will take place from February
17 through April 18. The program is designed to reduce soil erosion and water quality
problems associated with agricultural operations, as well as to enhance wildlife habitat.
Under EQIP, landowners can receive cost-shares to implement a variety of conservation
practices, including tree planting, that will achieve these goals.

The NRCS has established Conservation Priority Areas (CPAs) in various parts of the state,
based on either farming operations or geographical features in those regions that significantly
contribute to conservation problems. Approximately 65% of the program funds will be
allocated to landowners in the CPAs. In addition, livestock operations will have priority for
receiving EQIP funds.

S The EQIP program was created by the 1996 Farm Bill. It consolidates a number of
lT0 previously existing USDA programs, including the Agricultural Conservation Program
(ACP). The first EQIP signup was held in the Fall of 1997.





I Welcome to the New Year I WHIP Sign up Period I EQIP Sign up Period I Family Timberland Partnerships I Estate Planning I Growing Shiitake
Mushrooms in Florida I Effects of Clearcutting on Wildlife I Recent Extension Publications I Two Free Tax Publications I Upcoming Workshops and
Symposia I



Woodlands owners are accustomed to juggling a variety of concerns and options as they
manage their forest resources. William L. Hoover, an Extension Forester at Purdue
University, suggests that landowners might also want to consider a family partnership to
address some of their financial needs. His article--A Family Affair--in the March/April, 1997
issue of Tree Farmer magazine states that family partnerships are useful for landowners who
want to involve other family members in their timberland enterprise, spread income tax
liability, or reduce the size of their estate. He cautions, however, that income and estate tax
problems can arise if the senior family members (the parents) who are the current owners try
to retain too much control. In other words, for the partnership to be legitimate, the gift must
be complete. This requirement can generally be met by retitling the timberland according to
applicable state law.

What is a family partnership? In the simplest case, the parents retitle the timberland
(generally as a gift) to include their children as co-owners and, at the same time, a
partnership agreement is written and signed by all partners. Hoover says the agreement
should, at a minimum, name a managing partner (or partners) and a tax matters partner, and
specify control of access to partnership funds. Parents must also consider seriously whether
they can truly afford to make the gift, are willing to share control, and whether the other
partners are able to handle the financial burden if one partner wants to "cash out."

Family partnerships will have a number of tax implications. Hoover discusses gift tax, estate
tax, and income tax.


Gift Tax: When you donate interest in your timberland, it is a gift that is subject to
the annual exclusion tax credit. The annual exclusion is $10,000 per recipient, or
$20,000 if spouses make a joint gift. Gift tax would be paid only if the annual
exclusion is exceeded.
Estate Tax: The unified estate credit is the value of your estate that is exempt from
taxes. The unified credit for 1998, as set out in the Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997, is
equivalent to $625,000 worth of estate assets. This amount will increase annually
until the value of the estate exempt from tax reaches $1 million in 2006. [For more
information, see the extension fact sheet--The Tax Payer Relief Act of 1997: What is
in it for the private forest landowner? It is listed under the new publications section of
this newsletter.] If the gift of timberland is complete, only the parents' share of the
partnership interests will be included in their estate.
Income Tax: Generally, the contribution of the timberland to the partnership





doesn't result in a taxable gain to the parents. Income from timber sales is distributed
to each partner's allocation percentage, as determined by his or her ownership interest
and other contributions. Partners are liable for the tax on their share of the
partnership's income, even if the income is retained by the partnership.

Hoover cautions that the basis rules provide a potential downside for family partnerships
established by gifts. As with all gifts, the basis (i.e., the original and other capitalized costs of
an asset) of the donor is carried over to the recipient, in this case the partnership. This
becomes a problem if the timberland is highly appreciated at the time the partnership is
established because the tax liability on the unrealized gain is spread among the partners.

In the last section of his paper, Hoover warns that the Internal Revenue Code includes
specific restrictions on family partnerships because partnerships have often been used to
avoid taxes. Therefore it is important to meet with an attorney or knowledgeable tax
accountant before settling on a strategy. Hoover identifies three specific tax concerns:

Built-in gains: If the parents' basis in the timberland is less than its fair market
value when the timberland is contributed, there is a built-in gain. If some portion of
the property is sold within five years (for example, significant timber sales), the gain
may be taxable to the parents, rather than distributed among the partners.
Minors as partners: If a minor is to benefit from the partnership, you will most
likely need to set up a trust or other relationship to represent the interests of the minor.
It may be possible to overcome this problem by naming the minor as a limited
partner.
Retention ofpowers by the parents: If the parents retain too much control over
the partnership and its income, the status of the children as partners for tax purposes
will be in question.

The information provided in this and the following articles is intended to introduce our
readers to subjects that may be useful to them. The information is by no means
Tj O comprehensive, nor should it be considered as legal advice. If you are interested in pursuing
the family partnership option, be sure to discuss it with your attorney.

I Welcome to the New Year I WHIP Sign up Period I EQIP Sign up Period I Family Timberland Partnerships I Estate Planning I Growing Shiitake
Mushrooms in Florida I Effects of Clearcutting on Wildlife I Recent Extension Publications I Two Free Tax Publications I Upcoming Workshops and
Symposia I





You have worked hard for your woodlands and, hopefully, you and your family have been
repaid in profit and enjoyment. But have you considered what will happen to your woodlands
after your death? An article (Why Estate Planning Is Essential) in the Sept./Oct. 1997 issue
of the National Arbor Day Foundation's The Forest Steward reminds us of the importance of
planning ahead. Without proper estate planning, there is a risk that your heirs may be forced
to sell off the family forest or abandon planned management regimes.

The Forest Steward article advises that you review your management goals, financial
portfolio, land and timber inventory, family beneficiaries, and possible charitable donations
with an attorney and estate planning advisor. It also points out that a forester, although not a
traditional member of the estate planning team, can help you prepare a forest management
plan that specifically addresses your estate planning goals.

First and foremost, you should have a will. A will allows your loved ones to handle your
affairs smoothly and with the least possible inconvenience. It also ensures that your property
will be distributed according to your wishes, with the least possible tax liability.

Of the many objectives you may wish to consider, two were highlighted in the estate
planning article.

1. Minimize Transfer Costs: Transfer costs include federal and state death taxes,
probate expenses and the costs of administering the estate. Careful planning can
significantly reduce these costs. One strategy for reducing transfer costs -- Family
Partnerships -- is described in this issue of The Florida Forest Steward.
2. Continuity of Forest Management: Settling an estate can be a lengthy process,
requiring several months to several years to complete. It is essential to plan for the
management of your woodland during this period. Provisions can be included in your
will to direct that business operations of the estate continue while the estate is being
settled.

Another option you may want to consider is the gift of some of your assets to a qualified
charity. Such gifts can provide substantial tax benefits. Charitable Remainder Trusts allow
you to transfer appreciated property, stocks, or bonds to a trust during your lifetime. By
doing this, you obtain a current tax reduction, avoid capital gains, and possibly reduce estate
taxes. The trust will usually be designed to distribute income to you and/or a family member
during your lifetime(s).

If you are interested in this or other gift planning options, discuss them with your attorney or
estate planning advisor. You may also wish to contact the University of Florida Foundation:
Attn: Bruce DeLaney, Director of Real Estate, University of Florida Foundation, PO Box
14425, Gainesville, FL 32604-2425, Ph. (352) 392-5405, or The National Arbor Day
Tip Foundation: Attn: Debra Ersch, The National Arbor Day Foundation, P.O. Box 81412,




TOp
Lincoln, NE 68501-1412, Ph. (402) 473-9544.

| Welcome to the New Year I WHIP Sign up Period I EQIP Sign up Period I Family Timberland Partnerships I Estate Planning I Growing Shiitake
Mushrooms in Florida I Effects of Clearcutting on Wildlife I Recent Extension Publications I Two Free Tax Publications I Upcoming Workshops and
Symposia I



While browsing through a past issue of The Forest Steward (March/April 1997), I came
across a brief but informative article on how to grow shiitake mushrooms. This reminded me
of one of our own extension publications here at the University of Florida, Growing Shiitake
Mushrooms (Lentinus edodes) in Florida (Bulletin 255). Shiitake mushrooms--the most
commonly grown mushroom in Asia and one of the tastiest--are becoming a familiar sight in
many U.S. markets and restaurants. Their production may bring Florida landowners extra
income, while providing a use for small-diameter hardwood logs from thinnings or timber
stand improvement cuttings.

The article in The Forest Steward gave four steps for growing shiitake mushrooms. These are
listed below, and supplemented with information from the UF publication.

Step 1:

SCut live trees into logs 40 inches long and 3 to 6 inches in diameter. Drill 3/8 inch
diameter holes 1 inch deep and arranged 6 to 10 inches apart down the length of the
log. Space the rows 2 to 3 inches apart. In Florida, logs from water oak, southern red
oak, laurel oak, and turkey oak are best for shiitake mushroom cultivation, but other
species of oaks should also work well. The Forest Steward lists oak, sweetgum,
sycamore, and ironwood as the "best" species.

Step 2:

SInto the drilled holes, insert shiitake spawn (fungus on a substrate such as sawdust)
obtained from a supplier. Seal with soft melted wax. Take care not to expose the
spawn to direct sunlight or temperature extremes.

Step 3:

SStack logs on end at an angle, with about 2 inches of space between them. In Florida,
a heavily-shaded area (at least 75% shade) exposed to rain and good air movement is
best since these conditions protect the logs from direct sun and reduce the likelihood
of contaminating fungi. The heat of direct sunlight can kill shiitake mushrooms during
hot weather. To maintain moisture, logs should be wet with a sprinkling of 2 to 8





hours duration, no more than once or twice per month.


S"Fruiting" or the production of mushrooms, under natural conditions, will generally
occur in the fall, but sometimes in the spring in northern Florida as the logs become
older and the colonization becomes more complete. As cold fronts move through the
area at these times, rainy, cool weather will generally induce fruiting. To "force"
fruiting at other times, immerse the logs for 24 hours in cold water. Mushrooms will
appear about a week later. Mushrooms can be forced to fruit 3 to 4 times a year. Pick
mushrooms when the caps have unfurled but are not yet flat.

For a more detailed description of shiitake growing in Florida, Growing Shiitake Mushrooms
(Lentinus edodes) In Florida (Bul 255) can be obtained from the local county extension
offices or, if you have internet access, at
http://www.sfrc.ufl.edu/Extension/ExtInfo.html
6 Another source of information is the Florida Mushroom Growers' Association, c/o Charlie
Tarjan, 3426 SW 75th St., Gainesville, FL 32607

| Welcome to the New Year I WHIP Sign up Period I EQIP Sign up Period I Family Timberland Partnerships I Estate Planning I Growing Shiitake
Mushrooms in Florida I Effects of Clearcutting on Wildlife I Recent Extension Publications I Two Free Tax Publications I Upcoming Workshops and
Symposia I




The debate over the effects of clearcutting on wildlife habitat has continued for longer than
most of us can remember. A new report from Clemson University, "Responses of Wildlife to
Clearcutting and Associated Treatments in the Eastern United States," clarifies some of the
issues. To produce this thorough review, the authors examined the published scientific
literature in this field--a total of 230 research reports from 23 scientific journals, 5 U.S.
government agencies, 27 state universities and 9 private timber companies.

The report first reviews the effects of clearcutting on selected wildlife species and groups of
related species. Separate sections of the report are assigned to white-tailed deer, moose, game
birds, rabbits, carnivores, tree squirrels, nongame small mammals, birds, amphibians and
reptiles. In their evaluation of the effects of clearcutting, the authors consider clearcut size,
site preparation, thinning, planting, streamside management zones, snags, edge effects and
harvesting methods. The report then provides suggestions for improved stand management.

Overall, the review of published scientific literature indicates that clearcutting can be
compatible with many wildlife species. Clearcutting enhanced the quality, quantity, and
availability of food and cover for deer, moose, black beer, rabbit, hare, most game birds, all





early successional songbirds, and several rodents. Snags and logging slash left after
clearcutting benefited cavity nesting birds, raptors and many amphibians and reptiles. The
authors note, however, that each wildlife species will respond differently to timber
management practices. In actuality, the size, shape, and proximity to other recently harvested
areas will greatly influence wildlife use of these areas.

Management Considerations

Based on the literature review, the authors conclude that a mixture of management practices--
which may include clearcutting--is the best way to provide for the needs of most wildlife
species. This strategy provides the greatest habitat diversity by creating a mix of different
forest types and age classes. Also, the impacts of management practices must be considered
over the entire life of the forest and across the entire landscape. Species reduced in
abundance immediately following a clearcut will probably increase in abundance later in the
rotation as stand structure and the composition of the plant community change.

Several management activities were identified that will enhance wildlife habitat:

1. Retention of standing snags and logging slash will benefit cavity-nesting birds,
raptors, small birds and reptiles.
2. Regular thinnings will reduce shade and encourage the growth of forbs, grasses,
woody shrubs and vines, which are essential components of the habitat of many
species.
3. Retention of streamside management zones that meet or exceed Best Management
Practice guidelines will protect valuable wildlife habitat along streams.
4. In established pine plantations, prescribed burning will help control invading
hardwoods and increase the quality and availability of tender browse, herbaceous
forage and leguminous fruits in the understory.
5. Retention of the best mast-producing species, such as live oaks and dogwoods, will
4f enhance seasonal habitat conditions for many wildlife species.

lTo For a copy of this report, write to David H. Van Lear, Clemson University, Department of
Forest Resources, 261 Lehotsky Hall, Box 341003, Clemson, SC 29634-1003.

| Welcome to the New Year I WHIP Sign up Period I EQIP Sign up Period I Family Timberland Partnerships I Estate Planning I Growing Shiitake
Mushrooms in Florida I Effects of Clearcutting on Wildlife I Recent Extension Publications I Two Free Tax Publications I Upcoming Workshops and
Symposia I





Since the last issue of The Florida Forest Steward, a number of extension publications have
been produced that will be of interest to forest landowners. To obtain copies, contact your
county Cooperative Extension Office. Publications marked with an asterisk (*), can also be
printed or viewed from the SFRC extension web page, which is located at: http://www.sfrc.
ufl.edu/Extension/ExtInfo.html
Be sure to enter the web address exactly as it's given--capital letters where indicated, and no
spaces between the characters. Publications not already on the web site will be added soon.


Wind and Trees: Surveys of Tree Damage in the Florida Panhandle after Hurricanes
Erin and Opal (Cir 1183) by Mary L. Duryea

Forests, Hydrology, and Water Quality: Impacts of Silvicultural Practices (Cir 1185)
by Susan E. Moore

Cypress: Florida's Majestic and Beneficial Wetlands Tree (Cir 1186)* by Mary L.
Duryea and L. Annie Hermansen

Management ofFusiform Rust Disease of Southern Pines (Cir 1189)* by Robert A.
Schmidt

Genetically ImprovedPines for Reforesting Florida's Timberlands (Cir 1190)* by
Timothy L. White and Mary L. Duryea

The Taxpayer ReliefAct of 1997. What is in it for the private forest owner?*
(Extension Fact Sheet) by Michael Jacobson

Understanding County Forest Property Value Assessments* by Michael Jacobson

4 Forest Resource Information Available on the Internet* by Larry V. Korhnak and
T p Mary L. Duryea


I Welcome to the New Year I WHIP Sign up Period I EQIP Sign up Period I Family Timberland Partnerships I Estate Planning I Growing Shiitake
Mushrooms in Florida I Effects of Clearcutting on Wildlife I Recent Extension Publications I Two Free Tax Publications I Upcoming Workshops and
Symposia I





The National Woodland Owners Association is offering two free publications that are most
appropriate for this time of year:

Timber Tax Tips for 1997
Summary of 1997 Timber Tax Changes That Apply to Woodland Owners

If you are interested, send your request and a stamped, self-addressed, legal-size envelope
to:

National Woodland Owners Association

374 Maple Ave. E., Suite 210
Vienna, VA 22180.

Also, Larry Bishop, Forest Management and Taxation Specialist with the U.S. Forest
Service, will provide information on this topic in several workshops in Florida: March 10 in
Top Bonifay, March 11 in Lake City, and March 12 in Tavares. To register, call Tom Haxby at
DOF, (850) 414-9955.

| Welcome to the New Year I WHIP Sign up Period I EQIP Sign up Period I Family Timberland Partnerships I Estate Planning I Growing Shiitake
Mushrooms in Florida I Effects of Clearcutting on Wildlife I Recent Extension Publications I Two Free Tax Publications I Upcoming Workshops and
Symposia I



A number of workshops and symposia are planned for the coming months. You will receive
announcements for each of these in the mail.

Workshops:

Herbicide Uses in Forestry
Monticello, FL
February 24, 1998

SDesigned as an in-service training for extension agents and practicing foresters, it may
also be very useful for landowners. Topics range from the chemistry of herbicides to
application methods, safety concerns and specific prescriptions.

Forested Wetlands Ecology and Management
Pensacola, FL
March 24, 1998





SThe Forested Wetlands workshop will address the unique conditions and management
needs of these sensitive areas. Various sessions will describe the types of wetlands
and the values they contain, water management considerations, conservation
easements, best management practices (BMPs) and regulations, and timber
management and harvesting. For a description of last year's workshop, check out the
lead article in the Summer, 1997 issue of The Florida Forest Steward.

Pine Straw Management

Location and dates to be determined most likely during the spring in the Panhandle
and in northeast Florida.
The Pine Straw workshop will provide the information that landowners and resource
professionals need to effectively manage pine straw production. It will cover
management requirements and operations, biological issues, the most recent research
results, economics, and the tradeoffs between pine straw production and other forest
uses.

Regeneration Options for Non-industrial Forest Landowners

Location and dates to be determined most likely during the spring in the Panhandle
and in northeast Florida.
The Regeneration workshop will introduce landowners to the various options they can
use to regenerate the forest conditions and structures that meet their objectives. It will
cover regeneration/harvest methods for pines and hardwoods, seedling characteristics
and planting, site preparation, vegetation management, economic analysis and
financial incentives, and considerations for wildlife, soil and water.



Symposium:

Changing Societal Demands for Forest Products: Policy and Management Responses

1998 SAF/SFRC Spring Symposium
University Centre Hotel, Gainesville, FL
April 14-15, 1998

SThe world constantly changes, and forestry policies and practices must change to keep
pace. The SAF/SFRC Spring Symposium will examine one aspect of the new forestry
environment--the changing demands for forest products. In the symposium's first
section, speakers will discuss international and domestic trends and policies that affect
forest products in the United States. Speakers in the second section will focus on
policy and management responses to specific issues and opportunities.


4






4 For more information contact:
Tp Larry Korhnak, School of Forest Resources & Conservation, PO Box 110410, Gainesville,
FL 32611-0410. (352) 846-0901

| Welcome to the New Year I WHIP Sign up Period I EQIP Sign up Period I Family Timberland Partnerships I Estate Planning I Growing Shiitake
Mushrooms in Florida I Effects of Clearcutting on Wildlife I Recent Extension Publications I Two Free Tax Publications I Upcoming Workshops and
Symposia I

[ Back to Florida Forest Steward Newsletter Index ] [ Back to Extension Homepage]


A University of Florida Cooperative Extension Service and Florida Division of
Forestry joint project:

Chris Latt (editor), School of Forest Resources & Conservation, UF, P.O. Box 110410,
Gainesville, FL 32611-0410, (352) 846-2375 or CRLA.1 a '.i-,.fas.ufl.edu
Alan Long (co-editor), School of Forest Resources & Conservation, UF, (352) 846-0891 or
AJL gnv. ifas. ufl. edu
Charles Marcus (co-editor), Florida Division ofForestry, 3125 Conner Blvd, Tallahassee, FL
32699-1650,
(850) 414-9907 or marcus @doacs.state.fl. us


i., UNIVERSITY OF

SFLORIDA
Cooperative Extension Service
Institute of Food and Agricultural sciences




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