Title: Florida forest steward
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00090040/00038
 Material Information
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 2005
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00090040
Volume ID: VID00038
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

Winter 2005

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Food Plots vs. Native Habitats:
Finding the Balance
By Leslie Adams, Chris Demers and
Chuck McKelvy

For many landowners and hunters in the
South, planting food plots for wildlife is
second-nature just before the cool season
begins. This season goes hand-in-hand
with traditions of tilling up selected
areas, applying fertilizer and planting
succulent winter forages that attract
wildlife, especially white-tailed deer.
However, as anyone who is involved
with these activities on an annual basis
will attest, these treatments can be costly
and time consuming.

Is all the money and hard work put into
food plots necessary? Are there
resources already on your property that
can, with some lower intensity and less
costly management, sustain the resident
deer and other wildlife? You may not
eliminate the need for supplemental
plantings but you may decrease it by
optimizing the full potential of the
existing native browse and mast
producing vegetation on your land.
Pine thinning, photo by Jeff Norment




Volume 12, No. 3

Wild critters prefer wild food

As hunters and wildlife enthusiasts
know, deer require adequate amounts of
protein, calcium, phosphorus and other
essential minerals to sustain their health,
reproduction, body weight and antler
development. The reproduction and
growth of other sought after wildlife
species such as turkey and quail are also
dependent on an assorted diet including
insects. Your property may already have
a variety of trees, shrubs and herbaceous
plants that can provide these essential
ingredients to a healthy wildlife
population. The key is variety and
proper management the greater the
variety of plants in your forest, the more
mast and seasonal wildlife nutrition you
can provide, if properly managed.

How's your natural produce aisle?

The table on the following page
summarizes the seasonal availability of
some of Florida's native mast plants.
Ideally, you want equal amounts of mast
in every season, with a little bit more in
the colder months when wildlife energy
demands are higher. After taking stock
of the habitats and associated vegetation
on your property, consider what you can
do to increase desirable mast producers
and increase the nutritional value of exist


Prescribed fire is one of the most cost
effective and versatile land management
tools available. Growing season fires
generally stimulate seed/mast production
of grasses, forbs, blueberries, and runner
oak. Fire increases the protein content
and palatability of grasses, as well as the
amount of mast produced by herbaceous

vegetation. Based on existing vegetative
conditions, fire history of the site and
objectives, the benefits of prescribed fire
can be optimized to increase both
mast/seed production along with
nutrition and palatability of existing
native vegetation.

Get a burn authorization before you
burn. The Florida Division of Forestry
(DOF) oversees Florida's prescribed fire
program. Call your DOF Field Unit for a
burn authorization. You can find your
local Field Unit here:
dof.com/field operations/index.html or
in the State Government (blue) pages of
your phone book.

If you are not experienced with the use
of prescribed fire, consult a professional
burner or take Florida's Certified Burner
Training. Find out more here:

Discing and mowing

Discing during the fall and winter
months promotes a good spring and
summer ground cover and attracts
insects for a variety of bird species such
as quail and turkey. Desirable food
plants in the seed bank may include
partridge pea, ragweed and beggarweed.
You can diversify the vegetation in
wildlife openings by rotationally discing
different strips in different years.

Rotational mowing, by which different
areas or strips are mowed at 2-3 year
intervals (as opposed to mowing all open
areas at the same time), will encourage a
wider variety of plants, cover conditions
and available mast.

Seasonal importance of wildlife food plants
(from "Making the Most of Your Mast" by Carolyn M. Sekerak and George W. Tanner)

Wild plum
(Prunus species)
Red maple
(Acer rubrum)
(Conophilus americana)

Winged elm
(Ulmus alata)

(Populus species)
Mushrooms & other
(e.g., Amanita, Clavaria)
(Rubus species)
Black cherry
(Prunus serotina)
(Morus rubra)
Native grasses
(e.g., Andropogon,
& Paspalum species)

Hawthorn Oak
(Crataegus species) (Quercus species)
Saw palmetto Dogwood Black walnut
(Serenoa reopens) (Cornus floridana) (Juglans nigra)
Blueberry Beech
(Vaccinium species) (Fagus species)
Pokeweed H
(Phytolacca Hickory
(Phtolacca (Carya species)
PnPine Poplar
(Pinus species)

Mushrooms & other Blackgum
fungi (Nyssa sylvatica)

Magnolia Sumac
Blackberry (Magnolia grandiflora) (Rhus coppalina)

Grape Grae Cherry laurel
(Vitis species) (Prunus caroliniana

Holly, Gallberry
Holly lley Holly, Gallberry Holly, Gallberry
(Ilex species)
Native grasses Native grasses
(e.g., Panicum, & (e.g., Panicum, & Waxmyrtle
Paspalum Paspalum (Myrica cerifera)
species) species)
nGreenbriar Greenbriar
(Smilax species)

(Cassia & Desmodium


Thinning dense pine plantations allows
sunlight to reach the forest floor which
in turn promotes growth of herbaceous
plants, grasses, shrubs and vines.
Residual pine densities of 50 to 70 ft2
/acre are slightly low for maximum
timber production, but is optimal for
striking a balance between timber and
wildlife considerations. These target
densities favor understory plants that are
beneficial to wildlife while still
providing for achievable forest
management objectives. Follow-up
treatments with periodic prescribed
burning will increase ground cover
development and the nutritional value of
forage and mast.

Diversity is key

Your forest will support more wildlife if
it has a variety of stand ages and plant
species at both the ground level and
canopy. Pines and hardwoods, although
not always economically compatible, are
a very good combination for creating
habitat diversity. Protection of hardwood
hammocks or clumps, hardwood stands
along streams or around wetlands, and
productive, mast-producing individual
trees like oaks, persimmons, plums,
magnolias, sumacs, and others can
greatly influence habitat condition and
wildlife us of any property.

Wildlife populations also benefit when
stands of different ages are available,
because each age represents a different
stage of plant succession, favoring
different plant and animal species. In
addition to diverse wildlife habitat,

multiple age classes of trees can bring a
more periodic and stable stream of
income from timber harvests.


Once you optimize the full potential of
the natural food sources on your
property through proper habitat
management, you may discover some
savings in the time and money you need
to spend on supplemental food plots.
However, this is not an either/or type of
decision. It's about balance. The realities
of poor soils, pest plants like hairy
indigo in the seedbank, expanding
wildlife populations, and loss of habitat
to urbanization in many areas may
warrant some supplemental food
plantings to satisfy nutritional needs.
Research indicates that planting just one
percent of a property with supplemental
food plants can increase wildlife
productivity and observation frequency.
Before embarking on any strategies that
include supplemental plantings, proper
soil testing is recommended.


Edwards, D. 2005. Management calendar.
Wildlife Trends. 5(5):37-38.

Demers, C., A. Long and C. Latt. 1999.
Establishing and Maintaining Wildlife Food
Sources. SS-FOR-12, FL Coop. Ext. Serv.,
IFAS, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL. 5p.

Sekerak, C.M. and G.W. Tanner. 1994. Making
the Most of Your Mast. SS-FOR-3, FL Coop.
Ext. Serv., IFAS, University of Florida,
Gainesville, FL. 4p.

Woods, J. 2005. Food plots: native browse vs.
man-made. Hunt Club Digest. Fall 2005:67-70.

New Rule Protects Landowners
with Presumption of BMP
by Roy Lima, Watershed Forester,
Florida Division of Forestry

A recently adopted rule that has been
incorporated into Florida Administrative
Code entitles forest landowners to a
presumption of compliance with state
water quality standards if they file a
Notice of Intent (NOI) to implement best
management practices (BMPs) in their
silvicultural operations. Since Rule 51-6
was adopted and made part of Florida's
Administrative Code on February 11,
2004, the Division of Forestry has been
trying to get the word out to landowners.

All Florida landowners are covered
under the Florida Right-to-Farm Act,
which prohibits local governments from
establishing ordinances that regulate or
restrict agricultural and silvicultural
activities. However these activities must
be in compliance with established
BMPs. There is another benefit to
landowners implementing these BMPs.
For example, should a state water quality
violation occur while the landowner is
using the BMPs, they would be covered
or protected from that violation. Critical
to the process is the landowner's filing
of a Notice of Intent with the Division of
Forestry. Both public and private forest
landowners can file a NOI simply by
submitting a two-page form to the
Division of Forestry's hydrology section
in Tallahassee. These forms can be
downloaded from DOF's internet web
site at http://www.fl-

As of August 2005, the Division of
Forestry has received NOIs that
encompass more than 4.4 million acres

of forestland, ranging from small private
non-industrial landowners to large
ownerships like Rayonier, International
Paper Company, Plum Creek Timber
Company, and the Suwannee River
Water Management District. The
Division of Forestry has also submitted
the Notice of Intent to implement BMPs
covering all state forests in Florida.

Florida forest landowners have an
excellent track record when it comes to
BMP compliance. The Division of
Forestry has been conducting statewide
surveys every two years since 1981 and
the most recent survey in 2003 showed
there was 97 percent compliance with
forestry BMPs. Since 1981, the average
overall compliance rate has been 92
percent. The Division is expanding its
BMP outreach efforts to make sure that
landowners are made aware of the
adoption of Rule 51-6 F.A.C. Although
filing of the NOI is completely
voluntary, it is an important way
landowners can increase their liability
protection against state water quality
standards violations.

Those who do not have access to the
internet can request a copy of the form
by contacting the forest hydrology
section in Tallahassee. The number is
(850) 414-9935 or 414-9934.

Second Sign-up for Forest Land
Recovery Program Funds

The Florida Department of Agriculture
and Consumer Services, Division of
Forestry is holding a second sign-up for
enrollment in the Forest Land Recovery
Program (FLRP) from November 1 -
December 31. This program, authorized
under the 2005 Military Construction
Appropriations and Emergency

Hurricane Supplemental Appropriations
Act, is available to non-industrial private
forest landowners on a 75-25
(agency:landowner) cost share basis.
Eligible practices include, but are not
limited to: site preparation, tree planting,
and debris removal activities.

Landowners who own at least 10 acres
but no more that 5,000 acres of land in
Florida and who have a practice plan
will be eligible to receive funding
assistance under FLRP. A maximum of
$25,000 will be available for each
qualifying landowner as reimbursement
for incurred expenses for approved
practices. A total of $6,000,000.00 will
be available to forest landowners

Landowners can obtain application
forms from their local Division of
Forestry office. The Division of
Forestry's foresters will provide
technical assistance to landowners and
will be the local contact person for
participating landowners.

For more information, contact Randy
Hill, Conservation Programs
Manager, in Tallahassee at (850) 414-
9907, your local County Forester, or
visit www.fl-dof.com.

2006 Advanced Master Tree
Farmer Satellite Program

Mark your calendar and plan to attend
Master Tree Farmer Level 2. The live
satellite broadcast of Master Tree
Farmer Level 2 will be Tuesday
evenings, 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm
Eastern Time (6:00 pm to 9:00 pm
Central Time), February 7 through
March 21 at participating downlink

sites. Twenty-two sites are on board to
participate in Florida. A listing of these
sites and tentative schedules is available
on the Florida Forestry Information
Bulletin Board at:
hitlp \ \ .sfrc.ufl.edu/Extension/ffws/bul.htm

Several Florida sites will be participating
on a tape-delay schedule 2-3 weeks after
the live broadcast.

This program is designed for
landowners, Extension agents and others
who have participated in the Master Tree
Farmer Basic Course (Level I) or who
have a working knowledge of basic
forest management concepts. The course
is organized by a committee of
Extension foresters based at various
southern forestry schools. Assistance
with course design and development has
also been provided by the USDA Forest
Service and the state forestry agencies
and associations in the South.

Master Tree Farmer Level 2 Topics:

Session 1: Managing the Forest Site

Session 2: Forest Management
Options for Your Land

Session 3: Forest Health

Session 4: Controlling Unwanted

Session 5: Water Quality and Best
Management Practices for Your Land

Session 6:Forest Measurements and
Forest Products

Session 7:Wildlife Habitat Management
and Landowner Success Stories

Registration in Florida will be handled
by the Florida Forestry Association. Fees
will be announced in the registration
brochure, to be mailed by Thanksgiving.
Fees will include access to the satellite
program, notebook and speaker note
materials, and other local costs
associated with hosting the program.

For more information about the program,
contact Chris Demers, Florida MTF 2
Coordinator at (352) 846-2375. The
regional MTF 2 Web site
(http://www.mastertreefarmer.net) will
contain valuable information as it
becomes available.

Timber Price Update

This information is useful for observing
trends over time, but does not
necessarily reflect current conditions at a
particular location. Landowners
considering a timber sale would be wise
to let a consulting forester help them
obtain the best current prices. Note that
price per ton for each product is included
in parentheses after the price per cord.

Stumpage price ranges reported across

Florida in the 3rd Quarter 2005 Timber
Mart-South (TMS) report were:

* Pine pulpwood: $16-$27/cord ($6-
$10/ton), T from 2nd Quarter 2005
* Pine C-N-S: $58-$79/cord ($22 -
$29/ton), [
* Pine plylogs: $111 $137/cord ($41
$51/ton), "
* Hardwood pulpwood: $17 $33/cord
($6 $1/ton), 1
* Pine sawtimber: $103 $121/cord
($38 $45/ton), 1

Trend Report

Despite the catastrophic Gulf Coast
hurricane season, average 3rd Quarter
stumpage prices across the southern
region seemed to be relatively
unaffected. With the exception of chip-
n-saw prices, which continue a gradual
decline, average stumpage prices for the
major products in Florida increased.
Hardwood timber markets continue to
strengthen across the region, with
hardwood pulpwood reclaiming its
premium over pine pulpwood this

Average Pine Stumpage Prices for Florida
1st Qtr 1997 through 3rd Qtr 2005
120 -
100 P.
40 L

71 73 81 83 91 93 01 03 11 13 21 23 31 33 41 43 51 53
Year/Quarter (beginning first quarter 1997)

--- pulpwood -A chip-n-saw -- sawtimber

North Central Region Upland Game Bird Workshop and Field Day, 1:00 pm 5:00
pm at Range 17 Farms in Levy County. Will include information on the technical
r 2: assistance services offered to landowners by the Florida FWC. Topics include quail
December 2:
management, food plots, and prescribed fire, and a bird dog demonstration will be
featured. Registration $6 per person and includes a supper. Contact Ms. Tonya Brown
at 386-758-0525 to reserve your spot.
Forest Stewardship Property Tour, at Alford Arm Greenway, Leon County, Topics
will include rotational disking, food plots, longleafpine planting, prescribed fire,
December 9: wildflowers, kudzu control and fire ant control. Call Genice Roberts, Leon County
Extension Office at 850-487-3004 or by email at RobertsG@leoncountvfl.gov to
Rural Tourism Workshop Series Presents: Are You Being Served? A Workshopfor
Building Customer Service and Hospitality Skills, 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at the
Walton County Extension Office in DeFuniak Springs. A catered lunch is included.
December 15: The workshop will also be broadcast live over web-based interactive video at the
Jackson County Extension Office. The workshop registration fee is $10. Pre-
registration is required. For more information or to register, call Connie Laws,
Extension Educator, at 850-892-8172 or e-mail cslawskiifas.ufl.edu.
Forest Stewardship Special Videoconference: Additional Income Options for
Forestland Owners, 3 7 PMET at 10 locations across FL. We'll focus on pine straw,
January 27, 2006:
hunting leases, forest grazing and other enterprises. Flier is enclosed with newsletter.
Contact Chris Demers at 352-846-2375 or cdemers(iifas.ufl.edu for more information.
Master Tree Farmer, Level 2. Dates for the live broadcast are scheduled for Tuesday
February 7 March 21: evenings from 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm ET at participating locations in Florida and across
the South. Several sites will be participating on a tape-delay schedule. Details are on-
line at http://www.sfrc.ufl.edu/Extension/ffws/bul.htm#satellite.
February 10Forest Stewardship Property Tour, at Windy Hill Ranch, property ofRon Fisher,
Walton County;details to come. Contact Chris Demers for more information.
37th Annual SAF/SFRC Spring Symposium, Gainesville, FL. The theme will focus
March 28-29: on Biomass/Bioenergy. Presentations will be of interest to all professional foresters,
students and others. Mark your calendar and plan to attend. The first detailed
announcement will be coming out in November.

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