Title: Florida forest steward
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00090040/00051
 Material Information
Title: Florida forest steward
Series Title: Florida forest steward
Physical Description: Serial
Language: English
Publication Date: Spring 2009
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00090040
Volume ID: VID00051
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.


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The Florida Forest Steward

A Quarterly Newsletter for Florida Landowners and Resource Professionals

Volume 15, No. 4 Spring 2009

I, ii i ie: 2008 Farm Bill Opportunities:
Get Involved at the Local and
* '" is Finm Bill Oppoiniiunics State Level
* RC \\ S;iafe Hlrboi NI lhls and Tiuthis American Forest Foundation Release
* Collriatlul oions (C ificd Foicit Stl ,lids ,id
Ticr Fanncii
STiibci Pinc LUpd:i. The 2008 Farm Bill, passed by
* E\ Ni~is C.alendi a Congress in June 2008, gives the
USDA Natural Resources
Conservation Service (NRCS) new and
improved programs to help family
fr forest owners conserve and manage
their forests. Through these new
programs qualifying landowners can
receive both technical and financial
assistance to deal with forest
management concerns like wildfire,
insects and disease, and wildlife

To make sure these new programs
actually work on the ground, forest
owners need to participate and speak
up at local working group and state
committee meetings. These meetings
Photo by Robin Boughton, Florida Fish will help decide how the Farm Bill
and Wildlife Conservation Commission programs are implemented.

Inside: RCW Safe Harbor For a summary of the Farm Bill and to
learn more about the new and
What are landowners allowed to do improved programs for family forest
under this agreement? owners visit
www.treefarmsy stem. org/actionalerts.


YOU Can Influence How Farm Bill
Programs are Implemented

Landowners can influence the process by
attending and participating in local work
groups and State Technical Committees -
two bodies that advise NRCS State
Conservationists on the implementation of
certain NRCS programs in the state.
NRCS State Conservationists are the
federal agency employees in charge of
NRCS programs in each state.

State Technical Committees and local
work groups influence many programs that
are important to forest owners. These
programs include: the Environmental
Quality Incentives Program, the
Conservation Stewardship Program, the
Wildlife Habitat Incentives Program, and
the Healthy Forests Reserve Program.

Because of changes in the 2008 Farm Bill,
each State's Technical Committee must
include spokespersons for family forest
owners. This is an important opportunity
for landowners to serve on state
committees and influence program

State Technical Committees and local
work groups advise NRCS State
Conservationists on conservation issues in
the state, help set state priorities for
conservation program funding, and make
conservation program policy
recommendations. With forest owner
involvement, forest issues can be brought
to the table for funding and program

How to Get Involved

Local Work Groups: To participate at the
local level, contact your local Soil and
Water Conservation District Office, likely

located at your local USDA service
center. You can find your local USDA
Service Center by visiting

State Technical Committees: To
participate in your State Technical
Committee take the following steps to
get involved.

1. Contact your NRCS State
Conservationist and ask whether
they now have representation of
family forest owners on the
Committee. You can find a listing
of the State Conservationists and
more information about joining
your State Technical Committee at
2. If there is an opening for family
forest owner representation on
your State's Technical Committee,
coordinate with the leadership of
your State Tree Farm Committee to
get a family forest owner
representative on the Committee.
To find the contact information for
your State Tree Farm Committee
3. Even if you are not appointed as an
official member of your State
Technical Committee, you can still
attend Committee meetings, which
are open to the public.

Stay Involved

Join the American Tree Farm
System's Grassroots Action Network:

* Stay on top of the latest public
policy issues impacting family
* Get timely alerts so you can
influence public policy when the
time is right

* Get training, tools, and tips on
effective advocacy

How do I join? Go to
and enter your contact information.

Please direct your questions to:
Rita Neznek
Vice President, Public Affairs
American Forest Foundation
(202) 463-2594

The Little Bird With the Big
Reputation: RCW Safe Harbor
Myths and Truths
By Kristina Jackson, Florida Safe Harbor
Coordinator, Florida Fish and Wildlife
Conservation Commission

The red-cockaded woodpecker, also called
the RCW, is a small black-and-white bird
that has gained a large, mostly negative,
reputation among private land owners
because it is protected under the Federal
Endangered Species Act.

Like other woodpeckers, RCWs excavate
holes in trees for their nests. However,
they are very fussy about the type of trees
they nest in primarily mature living
longleaf or South Florida slash pines.
About 97 percent of the pine habitat they
originally inhabited no longer exists, and
much of what still does exist is owned and
managed privately.

RCW Safe Harbor

Some landowners who have suitable RCW
habitat are understandably concerned that
if they undertake certain forest
management practices, such as planting
longleaf pine trees, lengthening timber

rotations, and using prescribed fire, the
RCW may be attracted to their
property and in turn they will be
limited in how they can use their land
because of the bird's protected status.
The voluntary RCW Safe Harbor
Program was created to alleviate these
concerns and provide assurances to
landowners who want to be good
stewards of their land and improve
wildlife habitat.

When a landowner enrolls in a
voluntary Safe Harbor Agreement, he
or she agrees to enhance the habitat of
a listed species. In return the
landowner gets assurances that if a
listed species moves onto their
property, or increases its population
above a base line number (how many
are there prior to the agreement), the
landowner will not be liable for that
increase, and will not be subject to
additional regulatory restrictions
imposed under the Endangered Species

The RCW Safe Harbor program was
created to effectively freeze a
landowner's Endangered Species Act
responsibilities while the owner agrees
to restore, enhance or maintain habitat
that benefits the species. The
landowner signs an agreement with the
Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation
Commission (FWC) to protect existing
birds and habitat.

You don't need to have RCWs
currently residing on your property in
order to qualify for participation in the
program. If the birds are attracted to
an enrolled property, the agreement
allows the landowner to have the birds
removed in the event of an unforeseen
land use conflict.

Myths & Truths

There's been a lot of misinformation
circulating about the RCW and the Safe
Harbor program. This article will attempt
to clarity a few of the most common

Myth #1: Enrolling in an RCWSafe
Harbor Agreement means I can no
longer cut timber on my land.

This is false. The window of time you can
harvest is limited but you may legally
harvest timber within occupied habitat as
long as you follow certain standards that
are designed to avoid harming RCWs.
Those standards include:
* Not cutting down RCW cavity
(nesting) trees.
* Conducting timber harvests from
August through March when the birds
are not nesting.
* Providing the RCW minimal foraging
habitat by retaining some larger trees
(at least 10 inches diameter breast
height) for the bird's habitat. The
quality and quantity for foraging
habitat is clearly defined in your
customized Safe Harbor agreement.
* Providing the Florida Fish and
Wildlife Conservation Commission
(FWC) the opportunity to review a
proposed timber sale plan at least 60
days in advance to ensure the plan
meets your agreement standards.

Myth #2: RCWs are incompatible with
recreation I will have to eliminate
hunting from my land.

This is false. The first landowner to sign
up under Florida's Safe Harbor agreement
was Dixie Plantation, a 9,000-acre private
quail hunting property in Jefferson
County. RCWs are relatively human-
tolerant birds when it comes to sharing the

land. They are also found on golf
courses and forage in neighborhoods.
What they need to survive are
pinelands with old living trees and
minimal shrubby mid-story vegetative
growth. Their habitat is much like that
of bobwhite quail: open pineland with
a diverse herbaceous groundcover.
Prescribed burning, roller chopping or
even using herbicide treatments are
common techniques used to control
mid-story growth and yield an
aesthetically pleasing park-like,
productive pine forest. And that's good
for both people and wildlife, including

Myth #3: If the government knows I
have RCWs they will be traipsing all
over my land.

This is false. State and federal
biologists and land management
professionals will not enter your land
except at the request of a landowner
applying for a Safe Harbor permit. The

biologists may request access to your land
to assist in or verify your baseline survey
(to determine what you already have on
your property) prior to you enrolling in the
program. FWC biologists may visit your
property on an annual basis to assess the
status of any RCWs, and verify that the
conditions of the agreement are being met.
However, per the agreement, reasonable
notice of these visits (generally 30 days) is
required. Keep in mind that Safe Harbor
is strictly a voluntary program. When you
enroll in the program the FWC focuses on
helping you manage your habitat. We are
not there to search for ways to impose
regulatory restrictions on your land.

Is Safe Harbor for you?

It is if you own at least 75 acres and are
interested in providing habitat for RCWs,
but want some assurance that you will not
become a good-intentioned recipient of the
regulatory penalties associated with the
Endangered Species Act. Safe Harbor
takes some of the uncertainty out of
managing your pinelands for rare species
and is sensitive to landowners wanting to
use their property for economic benefit
and/or personal use. Managing habitat for
RCWs can be compatible with timber
harvesting, cattle production or quail

The first RCW Safe Harbor program was
launched in North Carolina in 1995. Since
then more than 62,000 acres have been
enrolled in the program nationally.
Florida became the seventh state to offer
the program to private landowners. In
2006, the United States Fish & Wildlife
Service and the FWC developed Florida's
own RCW Safe Harbor program and
entered into a statewide umbrella

This program meets both state and
federal requirements while reducing
the paperwork and time necessary to
put the agreement into effect. Among
the best candidates for enrollment are
those who want to maintain old pines
on their land for hunting or timber, and
those whose property neighbors lands
with RCWs already on them. FWC
staff is eager to work with interested
landowners to develop a plan to
enhance habitat that is in line with the
owner's land management objectives.
We can also help you find financial
assistance programs to offset costs of
controlled burns or mid-story
vegetation removal.

For more information go online to:
http://myfwc.com/safeharbor/. To see
testimonials from landowners who
have already enrolled in safe harbor
agreements nationally visit

If you have questions or think your
land may be a good Safe Harbor
candidate, please contact Kristina
Jackson, FWC's Safe Harbor
Coordinator, at 352-732-1225 Ext. 101
or email

Congratulations Certified Forest Stewards and Tree Farmers!

Carol and Mike Candler, Forest Stewards, Gary Wisniewski, Forest Steward and
recognized for Outstanding Natural Tree Farmer, "Bear A Dise",
Resource Management Activities, Volusia County
Suwannee County_

Ray Adams (L), Les Neese, Les'
Daughter in center, Forest Stewards,
Sumter County

hIs t

L-R: David Holley, Rick Weigel, John
Veasey, Ricky Hodges, Bruce Hill;
Olde St. Mary's River Plantation,
Forest Stewards, Nassau County

Not shown:

William Bryan,
Forest Steward, Marion County
Dr. Jim Stonestreet,
Forest Steward, Tree Farmer, Volusia County
Sam Walkup,
Tree Farmer, Volusia County
Tom and Katie Harzog,
Tree Farmers, Franklin County

Joe Khan,
Tree Farmer, Wakulla County
Bill Anderson,
Tree Farmer, Volusia County
Michael Hansen,
Tree Farmer, Wakulla County

Brent and Darcie Hume,
Tree Farmers, Volusia County
Chris Lewis,
Tree Farmer, Wakulla County
Wyatt Pope,
Tree Farmer, Wakulla County
Charles Rehwinkle,
Tree Farmer, Wakulla County

More information about these programs is on-line:

Forest Stewardship Program: http://www.fl-dof.com/forestmanagement/cfa steward_index.html

Tree Farm: http://www.floridaforest.org/tree farm.php

Timber Price Update

The timber pricing information below is useful for observing trends over time, but does
not necessarily reflect current conditions at a particular location. Landowners considering
a timber sale are advised to solicit the services of a consulting forester to obtain current
local market conditions. Note that price ranges per ton for each product are also included.

Stumpage price ranges reported across Florida in the 4th Quarter 2008 Timber Mart-
South (TMS) report were:

* Pine pulpwood: $23 $35/cord ($8 $13/ton), 1 (from average 3rd Quarter 2008 prices)
* Pine C-N-S: $42 $55/cord ($16 $21/ton), 1
* Pine sawtimber: $72 $103/cord ($27 $38/ton), 1
* Pine plylogs: $61 $98/cord ($23 $37/ton), [
* Pine power poles: $136 $175/cord ($51 $65/ton), 1
* Hardwood pulpwood: $14 $23/cord ($5 $8/ton), [

Trend Report

Despite increased average stumpage prices for the 3 major timber products in Florida from last
quarter, there is little good news to report on the state of South-wide timber markets. Pine
pulpwood prices averaged the highest since 4th Quarter 1998 at the beginning of the quarter but
collapsed as mills closed or curtailed production due to unexpected drops in demand for paper
and paperboard. The economic recession continues to drive the major market indicators for most
sectors. The one light of hope, as of this report, is lower energy prices, which may have
something to do with some upward shifts in some average prices reported.

Average Pine Stumpage Prices for Florida
4th Qtr 1998 through 4th Qtr 2008



0 80
) 60

40 -

84 92 94 02 04 12 14 22 24 32 34 42 44 52 54 62 64 72 74 82 84
Year/Quarter (beginning fourth quarter 1998)

a--puIPwCOc -*---chi rnsaw -- sawtimer

University of Florida
School of Forest Resources and Conservation
PO Box 110410
Gainesville, FL 32611-0410

Non Profit Org.
US Postage
Permit No. 94

Date Event, Location, Contacts
Forest Stewardship Workshop: Use Prescribed Fire Safely and Effectively, 8 am 4 pm CT, Black
February 17 Water River State Forest. Contact the Santa Rosa County Extension Office at (850) 675-6654 to
Forest Stewardship Workshop /Field Day: Manage for Multiple Resources Techniques and
March 3 Demonstration, UF-IFAS North Florida Research and Education Center, Suwannee Valley at Live
Oak. Contact Karen Hancock or Laurie Osborne at (386) 362-1725 x. 101 or 102 to register.
Forest Stewardship Workshop /Field Day: Manage for Multiple Resources Techniques and
March 10 Demonstration, 8:30 am 4:00 pm, UF-IFAS Gulf Coast Research and Education Center at Balm.
Contact Christine Cooley at (813) 634-0000 to register.
Forest Stewardship Workshop /Field Day: Manage for Multiple Resources Techniques and
March 24 Demonstration, 8:30 am 4:00 pm CT, UF-IFAS West Florida Research and Education Center at
Jay. Contact Robin Vickers at (850) 983-5216 x. 113 to register.
Division of Forestry Workshop: Timber Market, Timber Sales and Alternative Opportunities for
Landowners, 9:30am -3:30pm, Trenton Community Center 214 SE 3rdAvenue, Trenton, FL 32693.
March 26
For more information and to reserve a seat contact Greg Marshall, Senior Forester, Division of
Forestry, (352) 463-3138, marshagidoacs.state.fl.us

April 15

Forest Stewardship Silvopasture Tour at George C. Owens Farm, 9: 00 am 3: 00 pm; meet at the
UF-IFAS Washington County Extension Agriculture Center in Chipley. Call the UF-IFAS Washington
County Extension Office at (850) 638-6180 to register. Please register by April 10 so we can plan

The Florida Forest Steward is a University of Florida Cooperative Extension Service, Florida Division of Forestry and
Florida Tree Farm joint project:

Chris Demers (editor), School of Forest Resources & Conservation, UF, P.O. Box 110410, Gainesville, FL 32611-0410,
(352) 846-2375, cdemersk(ufl.edu
Dr. Alan Long (co-editor), School of Forest Resources & Conservation, UF, (352) 846-0891, a12(utufl.edu
Tony Grossman (co-editor), Florida Division of Forestry, 3125 Conner Blvd, Room R2, Tallahassee, FL 32699-1650,
(850) 414-9907, grossma(iadoacs.state.fl.us
Chris Wynn (co-editor), Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, 620 South Meridian Street, Farris Bryant Building,
Tallahassee, FL 32399-1600, (850) 488-3831, Chris. Wvnn(iMvFWC.com
Jon Gould (co-editor), Florida Tree Farm Committee, 4923 Windwood Circle, Birmingham, AL 35242, (205) 991-9435,

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