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The Florida Forest Steward
A Quarerly Newsletter for Florida Landowners and Resource Professionals
Volume 5, No. 3
Wildfires Ravage Northeast Florida
Fire-related Extension Publications
Stewardship of Longleaf Forests
Looking-for Stewardship Forest-
Landowner of the year -
Timber Price Update
Florida Forestry Website
Stewardship Landowner Survey
Pine Straw WorkShops
Glancy Family Named as 1997 Stewardship Forest
Landowners of the Year
r 1 When we think of Florida's forest lands, Dade County usually does not come to mind. Once
Supon a time, however, Southeast Florida was covered with thousands of acres of what has
become known as the Pine Rocklands Ecosyt'ni. This community was typified by a scattered
o\erstorl of South Florida Slash Pine, and an undelstory containing a variety of woody and
herbaceous plants Frequent lightning-caused fires maintained this ecosystem, and encouraged
the growth of species adapted to the shallow limestone soils and frequent fires.
Unfortunately, agriculture, urban development, the invasion of exotic species, and the lack of
prescribed fire have eliminated all but a few small remnants of this community. Because of the
effort involved in restoring and maintaining an area of pine rocklands ecosystem, only
government land managers for the most part have undertaken the task. Terry and Barbara
Glancy, however, have proceeded undaunted with the restoration of their 15-acre Pine Ridge
Sanctuary over the past 23 years. Their efforts have earned them the title of 1997 Sh',t\ardship
Forest Landowners of the Year.
When the Glancys first purchased the property, only the pine trees were left from the original
plant community. A thick jungle of exotic trees and shrubs obscured the native plants and made
the area inhospitable for both wildlife and human access. Then the Glancys went to work. They
used prescribed fire, spot treatments of herbicide,,and their own hand labor to eradicate the
unwanted vegetation. By the time we first visited their property in 1991, the restoration was
almost complete. Dozens of native plant species had returned; The Nature Conservancy and
Florida Native Plant Society were performing research there; and a number of other groups
came to visit and marvel at what they saw.
Unfortunately, Hurricane Andrew caused the Glancys a significant setback It did not deter
them, however. They resumed their prescribed fire and exotic plant eradication regime, and the
results were evident when we visited again last year. They lost their most visible species, the
pines, but gained several others in return. Some of these plants had not been seen in Dade
County for decades. The snags left by the pines now provide habitat for birds and animals.
Replanting the pines has involved making holes in the cap rock \ ith a power drill. Talk about
The regional Stewardship Forest Landowners of the Year include Joseph Parell of Washington
County, J.C. Winn of Alachua County, and Wayne and Claudia Schumacher of Marion County.
SEach of these landowners has been actively involved with the management of their forest lands,
and deserves recognition for their efforts.
You, or someone you know, may be a good candidate for the 1998 Stewardship Forest
Landowner of the Year award. Your management program does not have to be as unique or
extensive as the. Glancys, and may emphasize other resource amenities such as timber growth or
wildlife habitat. We will be looking for worthy candidates for this award in a few months, so
give it some thought.
Integrating Wildlife Considerations for Your Timber Lands
Last August, workshops on "Integrating Wildlife Considerations for Your Timber Lands"
were held in Levy and Jefferson Counties. Jointly sponsored by the Florida Game and
Fresh Water Fish Commission, the Cooperative Extension Service, and the Forest
Stewardship Program, the workshops focused on forestry practices that promote successful
-- and profitable -- management of both timber and wildlife. Each workshop included a
visit to a landowner's property and an evening session with several speakers. David Lewis
of Southern Forestry Consultants spoke on harvesting options; Bob Simons, a landowner
and consultant, spoke on forest regeneration; David Burt and Joe Shiver of Stone Container
talked about alternative income opportunities and leases; Clay Olson briefly described
shiitake mushroom cultivation; and Chuck McKelvy of the Game and Fresh Water Fish
Commission concluded with a summary address on forestland management options. The
following three articles are based on information presented at the workshops.
Integrating Wildlife and Timber Considerations
(a summary of talks by David Lewis, Bob Simons and Chuck McKelvy)
When managing forestland for both timber and wildlife, there are inherent tradeoffs. You can't
maximize both resources on the same acre at the same time. However, if you are willing to make
some minor changes in your management practices, you can provide substantial benefits to
wildlife with little impact on overall timber returns.
Forestry practices primarily affect wildlife through their effect on habitat. Simply stated, wildlife
habitat is the arrangement of food, water, and cover that animals need to survive. Different
wildlife species have different needs and, therefore, require different types of habitat. Habitat
requirements for single species may also vary over the course of a year. Additionally, since
different plants produce browse and fruit in different seasons, most wildlife species depend on a
variety of food plants for survival. Knowing this, it is no surprise that habitat diversity or variety
is the key to successful wildlife management.
Once you've decided to include wildlife in your management plan, the next step is to inventory
your land. What types of plants, animals, and habitat are found on your land? Are there any areas
of special importance to wildlife, such as den trees or pockets of hardwoods that provide large
quantities of mast (fruits, nuts, seeds)? These are habitat components that cannot be readily
replaced and should be conserved. A wildlife biologist can be very helpful during your inventory
and subsequent planning.
Timber harvesting, including both selective cuts (e.g., thinnings) and clearcuts, is one of the most
influential forestry practices affecting wildlife.
From a timber perspective, thinning removes inferior trees, reduces stocking, and gives
trees room to grow in both diameter and value. From a wildlife perspective, thinning
allows sunlight to reach the forest floor, and encourages the growth of grasses, forbs, and
other browse. Increased habitat diversity results, providing food and cover for many
wildlife species. Well-timed thinnings can maintain wildlife habitat through much of a
stand's life. In combination with other management actions such as prescribed fire,
additional wildlife benefits can accrue.
An important economic concern for landowners is whether the timber stand will provide
enough volume in thinning to make a viable sale. About 40 to 45 loads of wood, or about
one week of work for loggers, will generally be required. If your ownership is too small to
support this amount of cutting, you might consider coordinating your sale with that of a
neighbor. The larger combined harvest could increase the appeal for timber buyers., and
therefore the value of your sale.
Clearcuts severely alter existing habitat but provide the space and resources for the
development of new types of habitat. Newly cleared sites are first colonized by grasses
and herbaceous plants. Within a few years, a cover of shrubs and tree seedlings dominates
the site. Eventually, this plant community is shaded out by the closed canopy of the crop
trees. Each stage of development provides habitat for some species of wildlife, but
excludes other species which have different habitat requirements The removal of mature
trees will displace animals that rely on a well-developed forest canopy, for example
squirrels and some songbird species. But ground-level feeders, such as white-tailed deer,
bobwhite quail, cottontail rabbits and wild turkeys, will benefit from the increased
abundance of food plants that results from shade removal. It is important to always
remember that many of these wildlife species also require the nearby presence of older
stands and thickets for shelter and protection Forestland that contains stands of different
ages and stages of development will provide habitat for the greatest variety of wildlife.
The quality and quantity of wildlife habitat is greatly affected by the size, shape, and
spatial arrangement of clearcuts. Many wildlife species, including most game species,
thrive at the "edges" between different habitat types, for example, in the transitional areas
between different-aged timber stands or between forest and open field. Each habitat type
contributes plants and animals to the edge area, making it more attractive to wildlife than
either habitat type alone. If you create or maximize edge on your forest lands, many
species of wildlife will benefit.
Properly planned clearcuts can contribute to the edge effect Proportionate to their area,
small clearcuts provide more edge than large clearcuts A good size for clearcuts might be
a minimum of 20 acres and a maximum of 60 acres. If you have a stand larger than this, it
is better to break it into several smaller clearcuts. Use natural boundaries, such as streams,
swamps, ridges, or changes in soil types, as cutting boundaries if possible.
Rectangular or irregularly shaped clearcuts provide more edge than square clearcuts For
example, a 40-acre square clearcut has 17,600 yards of edge, a 40-acre rectangular
clearcut has 21,120 yards of edge, and two 20-acre square clearcuts have 24,640 yards of
edge. A long, relatively narrow, irregular shape gives the most edge.
The spatial arrangement of clearcuts is also important If possible, avoid cutting adjacent
stands in consecutive years. Allowing three to five years between adjacent clearcuts and
"randomly" distributing these cuts over your timberland will greatly enhance habitat
diversity. This cutting pattern will create a mosaic effect and prevent large expanses of
similarly aged trees, increasing wildlife benefits across your property.
Other beneficial forestry practices.
Several simple practices, which can be included in your harvest plans, will further enhance
habitat diversity. Retain streamside buffers, hardwood stringers beside intermittent streams, and
hedgero\ s along fences. These provide food and co\er for wildlife, and double as wildlife travel
corridors. Also, during harvest and site preparation, protect the special wildlife habitats you
identified during your inventory -- hardwood trees around sinkholes, den trees, snags, mast
producing trees, and so on.
For stand access. you might consider using fire lines and stand boundaries. If these are kept at
least 15 feet wide, they can serve as permanent openings., providing food for a number of species
and nesting sites for ground-nesting birds and mammals. All harvest operations require ramp
areas where logs are collected and loaded on to trucks. If properly planned and located, these
sites can be converted to permanent openings or wildlife food plots after harvest. Disking or root
raking will help to break up the soil and improve production of legumes and other herbaceous
A wildlife biologist can help you identify special habitat areas, as w ell as strategic locations for
ramp areas and permanent openings.
In Florida, harvested pine stands are generally replanted with slash pine, loblolly pine, longleaf
pine, or sand pine. Species selection for a particular site is based mainly on soil characteristics,
but also on the desired products. Pine species in plantations differ in their effect on wildlife
habitat in two main ways: (1) the attractiveness of their seeds as a food source, and (2) the
amount of shade they produce, and hence their effect on ground cover.
With respect to wildlife habitat, longleaf pine is probably the most beneficial of the four pine
species. It produces the least shade; therefore, ground cover is maintained longer into the stand
rotation. Because of its tolerance to fire, longleaf also allows you to initiate the use of prescribed
'fire at an earlier age. This practice promotes the growth of nutritious wildlife browse. Also,
longleaf s large seeds are attractive to many wildlife species, such as turkeys, squirrels, quail, and
doves. Next in order of preference would be slash pine. It produces more shade than longleaf, but
less than loblolly pine and sand pine. Slash pine cones mature earlier than longleaf, and the seeds
are attractive to wildlife, although not as attractive as longleaf seeds. Comlpared to the first two
species, loblolly pine is less desirable for wildlife: It has relatively heavy shade and its small
seeds are not nearly as attractive to wildlife. Sand pine is the least desirable of the four pine
species, in terms of wildlife habitat, because it shades out virtually all of the ground cover. Of
course, stand density has a noticeable effect on the amount of shade in a stand, regardless of tree
For landowners who want to blend forest and wildlife management, the most important steps are
1. Set desirable and realistic timber, wildlife, and economic objectives.
2. Inventory timber and wildlife resources, including the type and condition of available
3. Develop a long-range management plan that includes the various management strategies
that will be used to meet yo'ur goals and objectives.
The best approach when taking these steps is to have a forester and a wildlife biologist work
together to develop an integrated timber and wildlife plan. This is the approach that's used to
develop Forest Stewardship Management Plans for each participating landowner.
Keep in mind that habitat diversity is the key to '/iL. ,",ful/ wildlife management. We tend to think
of management from a stand perspective the management of individual stands but wildlife
move freely between stands, taking what each has to offer. Realistically, from a wildlife
perspective, trying to meet the habitat needs of a variety of species, we need to look at a larger
scale, a landscape scale. We need to consider the arrangement and distribution of habitat t pes
-across the land. Although timber revenue is the primary concern of many landowners, the
majority also have a sincere interest in wildlife and aesthetics. Varying our forest management
across the landscape can help accommodate all of these interests.
Five important guidelines come to mind:
1. Encourage species di ersity, both plant and wildlife, from the overstory to the ground
over. Let your imagination and creativity run free.
2. Retain portions of stands with mixed species and ages.
3. Discourage large continuous acreages of similarly aged stands.
4. Retain some components of older-aged stands
5. Obtain the advice of a professional wildlife biologist.
Taken together, these practices can produce quite a tapestry of habitats. You don't have to harm
your timber operation to benefit wildlife. You simply have to modify your approach to meet
more than one objective. As stated at the beginning of this article, relatively minor changes in
your management practices can produce major benefits for wildlife. Good forest management can
be good wildlife management, if properly planned and judiciously implemented.
Non-timber Income Opportunities and Leases
(a summary of talks by David Burt and Joe Shiver)
Reforestation and timber stand management can be expensive propositions, with the big pay day
a long time down the road. Any opportunity to earn income between cuts is likely to be welcome,
especially by small timberland owners. At the "Integrating Wildlife Considerations for Your
.Timberland" workshop, David Burt and Joe Shi\er discussed options for earning non-timber
revenue on private forestlands
Opportunities to earn income from non-traditional forest uses have grown in recent years,
especially with the increasing willingness of people to pay attractive sums for recreational
,activities and wildlife experiences Hunting leases are probably the best known and most used
source of periodic income, but other leasing opportunities are becoming more common. Some
examples are fishing, horseback riding, bicycle and motorcycle riding, bird watching, nature
trails, campgrounds, and even battle sites for paintball war-games. Non-recreational leases
include activities such as pine straw harvest, cattle grazing, and firewood. Although all of these
activities were mentioned during the wildlife workshop, please note that not all of them will
benefit wildlife populations. For example, management for pine stra\\ harvesting lea es little
iiindelstolr vegetation for wildlife use.
Both David Burt and Joe Shiver repeatedly stressed the importance of having written contracts:
written leases for anything that occurs on your timberland. This may seem paranoid, and contrary
to the informal way you prefer to do things, but nevertheless--PROTECT YOURSELF. Anytime
someone comes on your land, you are more or lessresponsible for their safety. In ouri lawsuit-
crazy society, you risk losing e\ er) thing if someone is injured while on y our property. In.
addition, a lease ensures timely payment to the lessor, as well as defines the specific obligations
that each party has to the other.
Hire a lawyer to assist you in writing a detailed contract. This is money well-spent. A contract
not only protects you, but also allow-s you to retain control over what is happening on your land.
There will be no misunderstandings if everything is written down beforehand.
Each type of leasing activity has different risks, rewards, and requirements, so the information in
a lease needs to be tailored to the specific activity and to your preferences. Most, if not all, leases
should contain the following elements.
The names and addresses of everyone involved in the lease, and the address of the leased
Purpose of the Lease.
Be specific. Will you allow only deer hunting or hunting for all game species? Are there
lando\\ner rights you wish to protect?
Description of the Property.
Give a legal description and a detailed map. You can also list areas that are excluded from
Terms of the Lease.
o Starting and ending dates
o Any special conditions. For example, you might state that timber stand operations
will continue as planned, that no hunting activities will be allowed during certain
periods, or that pine straw can be raked only once per year.
Total amount paid. For hunting, this is usually a specified price per acie, but
landowners can sometimes stipulate additional payments for "trophy" animals, for
example a buck with a well- developed rack. For pine straw, payments can be per
acre or per bale. For cattle grazing, per acre or per head.
o Time of payment
o Security deposit
Clearly state what is allowed and what is not allowed. Examples no dog hunting, alcohol,
fires, or nails in trees; the number of hunters at one time; responsibility for gates and
Remedies for Breach of Contract.
o Conditions for lessor to cancel
SLoss of payment
What you will or won't do to improve conditions.
Will you allow sub-leasing of hunting rights, pastures, pine straw collection, etc.? If rights
are sub-leased, you may lose control of what is happening on your land.
o Time of lease conclusion
o Condition in which the land is to be left
This element is extremely important.
Q Property damage provisions. Will you be reimbursed for trees, roads and fences
that are damaged during lessee activities? Who will be responsible for fires?
o Insurance requirements. Make sure that the lessee has general liability insurance,
with you listed on the policy. Make sure all workers are covered by workman's
o Waiver of liability. Include a "hold harmless" clause in the lease, which states that
the lessee will hold the landowner harmless from any claims that may arise from
the lessee's operations on the property.
Witnessed and notarized signatures of the lessee and lessor.
Again...let me stress that a lawyer's involvement is \ery valuable when writing a contract. The
information provided here is an example of things you will want to consider. But it should not be
considered legal advice, nor is it a substitute for actual legal advice.
Income from alligator habitat.
If you have gator habitat on your land, the Private Lands Alligator Management Program,
administered by the Florida Game and Fresh Water Fish Commission, might provide some extra
income. This program was created to provide landowners with an incentive for protecting
wetlands habitat. To qualify, landowners or groups of landowners must have 1000 acres of
habitat or 100 gators longer than four feet After the habitat has been surveyed by a professional
wildlife biologist, and a permit granted, landowners can harvest a certain number of alligators,
eggs., or hatchlings. Generally, the landowner contracts \\ith a trapper, and the two parties split
the profits in a pre-determined fashion. As with other forestland activities, make sure you have a
good written contract to protect your interests.
Shiitake Mushrooms,:Part 2
The last issue of The Florida Forest Steward contained an article which described shiitake
mushroom cultivation in Florida. At the wildlife workshops, Clay Olson, a co-author of the UF
extension publication on shiitake mushrooms, mentioned a couple of additional points that are
worth passing on. First, he warned that heavy rain can damage mushrooms so it is important to
keep them under some sort of shelter. Second, he noted that mushroom production in Florida
occurs in fall, winter and spring, while the more northern states have two production peaks:
March and fall. Since Florida growers can continue to supply mushrooms after production has
ended in the north, they may have a marketing advantage.
SFRC/Florida Cooperative Extension Service Publications on Topics
Addressed in the Wildlife Workshops '
Management ofPine Forests for Selected Wildlife in Florida. W.R. Marion, M. Werner, and G.
W. Tanner. Circular 706
Making the Most of Your Mast. C.M. Sekerak and G.W. Tanner. SS-FOR-3
Wildlife Habitat ClonsideLrations When Burning and Roller Chopping Florida Range. G.W.
Tanner and W.R, Marion. WRS-6,
Hunting Lease Arrangements in Florida and the Southeast. W.R. Marion and C.A. Gates.
Alternative Enterprises for Your Forest Land: Forest Grazing, ChriiIhtlm Trees, Hunting Leases,
Pine Straw, Fee Fihing and Firewood. M.L. Duryea (ed.). Circular 810
To obtain copies, contact your county Cooperative Extension Office.
Timber Price Update.
The 4th quarter, Timber-Mart South report for Florida, listed average stumpage prices in the last
three months of 1997 as $41/cord for pine pulpwood, $79/cord for pine C-N-S and $116/cord for
pine plylogs. Prices were $2, $9 and $9 per cord, respectively, higher than in the third quarter.
Hardwood pulpwood prices rose 20% between quarters, but hardwood timber prices dropped
slightly. As previous newsletters have pointed out, stlumpage prices are highly variable and the
actual price for a particular timber sale can be affected by characteristics such as tract size, timber
density, access, proximity to mills, and weather. Although the first quarter, 1998, summary is not
yet out, it will show a distinct weather effect, with prices considerably higher than at the end of
1997. Some of you have experienced that benefit of the weather in your timber sales in the last
four months! A Iore complete suimmiar of fourth quarter stumpage prices is available at your
County Extension Office. To determine current prices in your area, your best source of
information will be forestry consultants and timber companies that conduct timber sales or buy
WHIP Acreage Correction
In the last issue, we reported that to qualify for WHIP cost-shares, "...proposed treatment areas
must be at least 20 acres in size." This statement is incorrect. The correct statement is as follows:
"To qualify, total ownership must be at least 20 acres in size. Proposed treatment areas, however,
can be much smaller."
3 Regeneration Options for Non-indt lrial Forest Landowners will be held June 23 in Milton.
Pine Straw Management will be held in October, probably in the Panhandle and northeast
You will receive announcements for these workshops in the mail.
Natural Resources Forum '98. Linkages in Ecosystem Science, Management and
June 9-10, 1998; Gainesville Radisson Hotel.. Gainesville, Florida.
For more information contact:
University of Florida, Conference Dept., Suite E, 2209 NW 13th St., Gainesville, FL 32609
Phone: (352) 392-1701, ext. 243
1998 Southern Landowner Outreach Conference
November 1-4, 1998; Sheraton Birmingham Hotel, Birmingham, Alabama
Additional information and registration forms are forthcoming.
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Cooperative Extension Service
Institute ot Food and Agricultural Sciences
A University of Florida Cooperative Extension Service and Florida Division of
Forestry joint project:
Chri. Latt (editor), School of Forest Resources & Conservation, UF, P.O. Box 110410,
Gainesville, FL 32611-0410, (352) 846-2375 or CRL.1 ~ yi.ifas.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, 1, 11
(850) 414-9907 or marc ui, 1 t ,, fl I t a u