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The Florida Forest Steward
A Quarterly Newsletter for Florida Landowners and Resource Professionals
Volume 7, No. 2
Urbanization and Changing Forest Values
National Wild Turkey Federation Private Lands
Program Wild Turkey Woodlands
Northern Bobwhite Quail
Issues Affecting Priviate Forest Management
EPA Removes forestry Provisions from-Proposed -
Master Tree Farmer Program to Continue in 2001.
Thanks to Stewards for Hosting Tours
Timber Price Update
SFRC and Stewardship Program Workshop Schedule
Urbanization.and Changing Forest Values
This year's John Grey Distinguished Lecturer at the SAF/SFRC Spring Symposium was Dr. Ross
Whaley, immediate past president of the State University of New York College of Environmental
Science and Forestry in Syracuse. His intriguing talk outlined 5 major trends in globalization and
addressed how we as foresters fit into the big picture. The 5 trends included: population growth,
international trade, an unprecedented number of products available to consumers, changes in
energy demand, and changing attitudes about forests. Since his talk I've attempted to fit his points
into a private-landowner context. Some thoughts on this are manifested in this article. I will
expand on the first and fifth trends that
Dr. Whaley discussed: population growth and changing attitudes about forests. Articles in the
March 2000 Journal of Forestry and Vardaman's April 2000 Green Sheet (James M. Vardaman &
Co., Inc.) were also used for some ideas and illustration.
Let's start with today's economic trend. Americans taking advantage of today's booming economy
are finding themselves with the ability to pursue their dreams of land ownership. As a result, large
A University of Florida Cooperative Extension Service and Florida Division of Forestry joint project:
Chris Demers (editor), School of Forest Resources & Conservation, UF, P.O. Box 110410, Gainesville, FL
32611-0410, (352) 846-2375 or cdemers agn ifas. ufl.edu
Alan Long (co-editor), School of Forest Resources & Conservation, UF, (352) 846-0891 or AJL@gnv.ifas.
Todd Groh (co-editor), Florida Division ofForestry, 3125 Conner Blvd, Tallahassee, FL 32699-1650, (850)
414-9907 or groht@ doacs.state.fl. us
Chuck McKelvy (co-editor), Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, 3125 Conner Blvd,
Tallahassee, FL 32699-1650, (850) 414-9911 or email@example.com
/ ,UNIVERSITY OF
Cooperative Extension Service
Institute of Food and Agricultt.ral sciences
portions of the South and other rural areas of the country are now experiencing a "land-boom" a
significant rise in bare-land value. This is particularly evident in the urban-rural interface, where a
growing number of wealthy urban residents are migrating out of the city in search of a sanctuary
from the hustle and bustle of urban life. This migration has been termed exurbanization.
Exurbanization is often motivated by a perceived improvement in the quality of life in rural areas.
Land ownership in a rural area can bring spiritual, recreational, and productive opportunities that
are uncommon in the urban environment. As urban centers grow and expand, more people are
pursuing residence in outlying areas, and this migration is slowly bringing about change in the
physical and social components of the rural landscape. Urban migrants often have attitudes,
needs, and values that are quite different from traditional rural residents. Most traditional rural
landowners see their land as a working asset that must be actively managed for continued
production. Urban migrants are more likely to have preservation-oriented values and are therefore
more likely to support land-use controls than traditional residents. These new landowners may be
more accustomed to zoning restrictions and are likely to embrace such restrictions as ways to
protect and increase home value.
Another dimension to this trend is forest fragmentation. I recently saw an advertisement on
television for 20-acre "plantations" in the Gainesville vicinity a perfect example of forest
fragmentation. The concept is simple mathematics. Since our land base doesn't expand with the
population, more people will own fewer acres. An article in the Journal of Forestry entitled
"Forest Fragmentation: Implications for Sustainable Private Forests", by Neil Sampson and Lester
DeCoster, gave some interesting statistics regarding this trend. A 1994 study found that of the 9.9
million private landowners in the U.S., 94% owned less than 100 acres of forest apiece, and there
are about 150,000 new forest landowners every year. If this trend continues, by 2010, about 150
million acres of productive forest in the U.S. will be in pieces of 100 acres or smaller, with an
average holding size of 17 acres. This, coupled with the changing demographics discussed above
will have vast implications for forest practice in rural America. Urban migrants will be less likely
to participate in forestry programs because forestry will likely be only a minor concern in their
ownership objectives. 20 acres is probably more than enough for an owner whose land
management objectives amount to a landscaped yard and some trees.
What can the traditional private forest landowner do to avoid this trend? The answer is simple (in
words at least): forest stewardship. Your land is irreplaceable. Hold on to it and add value to it;
value in terms of product output and "greenspace" or wildlife habitat. As urban areas encroach on
the landscape, productive forests and other important values like wildlife habitat and aesthetics
will likely be at a premium, which may translate into significant opportunities for landowners
providing them. My bias aside, I would think that those of you in the Stewardship Program are
already a step ahead in ensuring the future of your forestland. You have well-defined, long-term,
multiple-use goals and a management plan to help you achieve those goals. However, stewardship
alone will not perpetuate a forest property. Uncle Sam gets his share when you are gone, so an
estate plan is needed to ensure the transfer of your property to your heirs with as little tax liability
as possible. Otherwise, your heirs may be forced to have to sell the property just to pay the
National Wild Turkey Federation Private Lands.Program Wild Turkey Woodlands
Bryan J._Burhans, NWTF Director of Land Management Programs
The National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF) recently initiated a new private lands program
called Wild Turkey Woodlands. This free program recognizes individual and corporate
landowners that actively manage for wild turkeys and other wildlife on their farms, ranches, and
woodlands. The program also promotes hunting as part of our North American heritage.
A Wild Turkey Woodland is a privately held farm, forest, ranch or woodlot managed to protect
and enhance wildlife habitat. Landowners owning at least 10 acres are eligible, and certification
is awarded once a property meets the standards set by the National Wild Turkey Federation's
Wild Turkey Woodlands program.
Certified landowners can send a strong message to their community about their active support for
wildlife on their property with a Wild Turkey Woodlands sign. In addition, a Wild Turkey
Woodlands certificate, suitable for framing, will show those visiting their home or office that
their land is managed for wildlife.
Another benefit of participation in this program is access to information and resources. Wild
Turkey Woodland owners will receive the latest information on new products and wildlife
management techniques, and can take advantage of special discounts on seeds and seedlings. As
the program grows, a newsletter will be published and regional workshops will be available to
provide landowners hands-on information about management options. An annual state, regional
and national awards program is held to showcase the efforts of selected certified landowners in
managing for turkeys and other wildlife.
To enroll in the program, applicants must submit a written plan and map that documents the
practices and goals for managing wildlife, timber, soil and water, and hunting on the property.
Landowners can develop their own management plan, or use a plan developed through state and
federal programs such as the Forest Stewardship Program. All landowners are encouraged to
have their management plan reviewed by a natural resource professional, such as a wildlife
biologist or forester.
To certify your land as a Wild Turkey Woodland, call the NWTF at 1-800-THE-NWTF and
request a Wild Turkey Woodlands application and information package. You can also e-mail
Bryan Burhans at Bburhans@nwtf.net to request information or write: National Wild Turkey
Federation, Wild Turkey Woodlands Program, P.O. Box 530, Edgefield, SC 29824. For
additional information about Wild Turkey Woodlands, and other programs the NWTF offers,
check the NWTF web site at www.nwtforg.
Northern Bobwhite Quail
By Leslie J. Hawkins, Wildlife Biologist, Forest Stewardship Program
Northern bobwhite quail populations have been
declining in the Southeast for the last 30 years. Habitat f '.
loss through conversion of agricultural lands has
contributed to the declining populations of quail.
Agricultural practices in the mid-1950's to 1970's
converted small farms, hedgerows and woodlots from
historical wildlife cover and food resources to larger
areas with cleaner farming practices. In addition,
beginning in the mid-1980s and continuing to the
present, many traditional agricultural acres throughout
the Southeast have been converted to pine plantations.
This landscape change has further reduced early successional (old field) habitats required by
quail and many other songbird species for nesting, foraging and successful brood rearing.
Quail spend part of their life in the covey stage during the fall/winter months and in pairs during
the breeding season. Coveys are family groups which gather together after the breeding season.
Coveys forage together during the day and at night form a ring, heads facing outward, for
predator protection and heat retention.
Breeding season (April to July) begins with the cocks whistling for hens during the morning and
evening hours. Fence posts or other types of high perches are often used when whistling. Quail
are ground nesting birds and prefer thick understory vegetation next to open areas for placement
of nests. Both the male and female will incubate the nest and clutch size ranges from 10-15
eggs. Quail will often re-nest if the first nest is destroyed.
Quail have a varied diet but mainly consume plant material including foliage, seeds and soft and
hard mast (berries and acorns). Native legumes (plants that belong to the bean family) are one of
the most important components of a quail's diet. In Florida, native partridge pea, cowpea, and
planted lespedezas are important, as well as ragweed and briar patches. Insects are also
consumed by quail year-round, especially by growing chicks, but become a more important food
source during the summer months.
Quail use transitional zones such as the areas between woodlots, old fields, and homesites, for
travel, foraging and nesting. Therefore, they are referred to as an "edge" or early successional
species. Because they rely on these "edges", the amount of this habitat type in the landscape can
be an important factor for the presence or absence of quail. Quail need hedgerows and
herbaceous vegetation for winter food and cover, as well as for nesting. The highest populations
of quail are usually found in areas with management designs that keep a combination of
woodlots, transitional areas, and croplands.
Discing and prescribed burning are two of the major management tools available to the private
landowner for quail habitat improvement. Disturbance to the soil allows for germination of
preferred native quail foods. Discing and burning during the winter months (November -
February) will be most productive for foods such as partridge pea and ragweed. Creating wildlife
openings and other early successional vegetation communities through periodic disturbance can
provide essential habitat components preferred by both coveys and pairs during the breeding
season. These areas also have patches of bare ground for easier movement by chicks and adults,
support insect populations that represent a primary dietary supplement for chicks, and provide
brood rearing habitat during the spring and summer months. In addition to feeding areas, wildlife
openings and edges can provide loafing areas and escape cover. The best cover for quail allows
for easy movement on the ground, but provides ample mid-story vegetation above for
Quail management is an intense endeavor for private landowners. Those interested in managing
for quail on their property should focus on understanding the birds seasonal needs and providing
for these life requirements through proper habitat management across their property.
Issues Affecting Private Forest Management
As you probably know from experience, land management does not take place in a vacuum.
Quite often, state and federal policies play a role in the management activities that take place on
our land, which may in turn affect whether or not we reach our objectives. The May 3rd issue of
NCASI's Forestry Environmental Program News highlighted some of the major issues affecting
private forest management and timber supply. These issues were broken into two broad
categories: (1) government regulation and (2) sustainable forestry initiatives.
The federal government can potentially regulate private forestry under several environmentally
oriented legislative acts. Currently, provisions under the Clean Water Act and the Endangered
Species Act are causing the greatest concern among forest landowners across the country. The U.
S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is making an effort to expand its regulatory power to
cover silvicultural practices on private forests with a proposal to reclassify forestry activities
from nonpoint sources to point sources of pollution under the Clean Water Act. This would
potentially require some landowners to apply for special permits to conduct forestry activities on
their land. You may recall the article about this proposal in the Winter 1999 issue of the Florida
Forest Steward (vol. 6, no. 4), "Proposed EPA Rules Bad News for Forestry." Studies by NCASI
and others have concluded that forestry operations are a minor source of water quality problems
nationally and all states with significant timber harvesting activities have best management
practices to minimize potential nonpoint source water quality problems.
The Endangered Species Act (ESA) is administered by the U.S. Fish
and Wildlife Service (FWS). According to Washington State's Forest
Stewardship Notes (Spring 2000), it is estimated that approximately
90% of animal species currently listed as endangered (at the federal
level) depend on resources located on private nonindustrial forest
lands. The extent to which landowners should be obligated to provide
habitat for these species is subject to debate, but it is clear that all-out
regulation of forest practices on private lands under the ESA is
unfavorable to many and sometimes lacks scientific foundation.
NCASI and the forest products industry have developed a process by
which the technical information needs affecting the listing and
management of individual species are addressed. This process has
provided a scientific basis for managing listed species and has led to
reductions in regulatory burdens in specific cases. However, we can expect the overall regulatory
power imposed by the ESA to increase with the growing number of species it protects.
Public perception of forestry activities on private land can have an influence on the regulations
and restrictions imposed on them in the future. With a growing urban and rural interface, both
industrial and nonindustrial private forest landowners carry the challenge of gaining public
support for forest practices that integrate economic and environmental values. This is being
realized through a number of forest certification programs that vary in intensity from first party,
self-certification to independent, third party certification programs. If the public knows that a
landowner has been certified under a credible forest certification program, they will be more
likely to believe that the forest operations taking place on the property are done in an
environmentally sound manner. In the southeast, it is critical for certification programs to take
into account wildlife habitat, provisions for intensive management, and multiple use
management. One comparison of the various certification programs is available in the policy
section of the Society of American Foresters web site (www.safnet. org). The Florida Forestry
Association is also providing further descriptions of the programs in one of the upcoming issues
of Florida Forests magazine.
EPA Removes Forestry Provisions from Proposed TDML Regulations
You probably recall the article, "Proposed EPA Rules Bad News for Forestry" in the winter 1999
issue of the Steward (vol. 6, no. 4). We have some developments to report regarding this
proposal. As of June 9, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has decided not to include
in the final regulations provisions that would allow the agency to reclassify forestry activities
from nonpoint to point sources of pollution. This reclassification would have required some
landowners to obtain federal National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permits
to conduct forestry activities on their land.
This is good news for now, however, the EPA is planning to reintroduce the provisions at a future
date. Also, the current proposed regulations will still potentially affect both farmers and
aquaculture operators. For more information on this proposal, visit the EPA web site at www. epa.
Master Tree armer Prgramto Continue in 20
Master Tree Farmer Program .to Continue in 2001
The regional steering committee for the Master Tree Farmer (MTF) program recently met in
Atlanta to review the results of the MTF 2000 satellite videoconference. The group agreed that
the program offered a unique, cost-effective way to reach landowners with information they
want. They voted to continue the program next year and enhance it where possible. Dates have
been set for Tuesday evenings from 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm EST beginning
February 6th and ending March 20th, 2001. The 10 southeast states that
participated last year will host the program next year and some bordering
states (Maryland and Missouri) may also participate. The state coordinators 200
will meet via phone conference calls to discuss the arrangements and strategies for the next
round. Counties in Florida will be identified in the near future to serve as downlink sites for the
The committee also discussed the possibilities for advanced courses and courses on special
topics. An advanced MTF program will be developed and offered in South Carolina in 2001 and
regionalized via satellite in 2002. A Master Wildlife Conservationist course will be developed
and offered in the future as well. For more information about the MTF program visit www.
Thanks to Stewards for Hosting Tours
Many thanks to the Forest Stewards that hosted tours on their
properties this year! Some of our certified Stewards hosted tours to
provide others the opportunity to witness and discuss the outcomes of
the management practices used to reach their multiple use forest
management objectives. Participation varied from 20+ down to 5 or 6
S and representatives of the Florida
Division of Forestry, Florida Fish and
Wildlife Conservation Commission and
L the University of Florida Cooperative Extension Service were
-6i .present at each tour. Ideal weather prevailed for all the tours and a
Good time was had by all. Our gracious hosts were:
Ben and Steve Watkins
Steve and Susan Roeser
Dr. Joe Parell
Steve and Kitty Quina
John Winn and LEAFS
Mary and Charles Farr
Thank you all for your interest and hospitality! We learned a great deal.
Timber Price Update..
The 1st quarter 2000 Timber-Mart South
report for Florida listed average
stumpage prices as $33/cord for pine 1
pulpwood, $85/cord for pine C-N-S,
$111/cord for pine sawtimber, and $123/
cord for pine plylogs. Prices were down
for the first three products, respectively,
and up slightly for plylogs compared to l
4th quarter 1999 prices. Hardwood
pulpwood averaged $14/cord, which
was up slightly from the previous
quarter. Stumpage 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 operating mills, and weather. A more complete
summary of 1st 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 purchase timber in your area.
SFRC and Forest Stewardship Program Workshop Schedule
SFRC Continuing Education Schedule
September 28: Forest Tree and Plant Identification, western Panhandle
October 17-18: Biotechnology and Genetic Engineering for Foresters, Austin Cary Memorial
November 14-15: Improving Public Relations (Getting the Message to the Public), Austin Cary
Memorial Forest, Gainesville.
January 2001: Environmental Impacts of Forestry Practices, Austin Cary Memorial Forest,
Fall 2000: Regulatory Environment in Florida's Forests, Austin Cary Memorial Forest,
Contact: Dr. Alan Long, 352-846-0891
Forest Stewardship Workshop
August 1, 3: TimberMarket / Investment Opportunities, Bay & Lafayette Counties.
Contact: Chris Demers, 352-846-2375