Forest Resources Extension Opportunities

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Forest Stewardship
Situation and Audience
Over half of Florida’s forest lands are owned by nonindustrial private forest (NIPF) owners. Under continuous, active management, NIPF lands can make important contributions to the quality of our environment and economy including: a sustainable supply of timber, habitat for many species of wildlife, soil and water conservation, aesthetic qualities and recreational opportunities. Unfortunately, NIPF lands are often unmanaged, contributing fewer benefits than their potential; they may even pose hazards related to wildfire, insects and diseases, and spread of invasive exotic plants. At the same time, increasing development pressure in some areas offers owners of unmanaged lands much greater revenue than they can generate from idle land. Forest Stewardship offers opportunities for NIPF landowners to more actively manage their forest and related resources and to keep these lands in a productive and healthy condition for present and future owners.

Goals and Objectives
Established by the Federal Farm Bill of 1990, the Forest Stewardship Program provides technical assistance and educational programs, through State forestry agencies, to NIPF owners to encourage and enable active long-term forest management. A primary focus of the Program is the development of comprehensive, multi-resource management plans. In Florida, the Division of Forestry (DOF) administers the Forest Stewardship Program; one of their goals is to increase statewide participation in the Program. Through a DOF grant, UF-IFAS SFRC develops and provides information and technology transfer services that will help meet the second DOF goal of enhancing management capabilities of landowners and resource professionals.
Leslie Hawkins

Resources

Over twenty-five extension circulars and fact sheets are available to fill information needs on a variety of topics ranging from forest regeneration methods to marketing timber. Each quarter, The Florida Forest Steward newsletter is mailed to over 4,300 landowners and natural resource and extension professionals around the state, providing information on timber price trends, natural resource news, management techniques, upcoming educational programs and more. The Master Tree Farmer and Master Wildlifer series are all available on the Web or for purchase on video or DVD to educate
School of Forest Resources landowners and extension professionals & Conservation

about important forest and wildlife management concepts and techniques. The Florida Forest Stewardship Web site provides landowners and professionals with information about Forest Stewardship, technical and financial assistance programs, agency and

organization contacts, upcoming events, and access to a variety of resources (http://www.sfrc.ufl.edu/forest_stewardship). Let us know if there is a topic you would like covered in an extension fact sheet or circular (cdemers@ufl.edu).
A Sample of Forest Management and Stewardship Publications (available on EDIS) Alternative Forest Land Uses Assessment and Management of Hurricane Damaged Timberland Controlling Invasive Exotic Plants in North Florida Forests Environmentally Sound Forest Harvesting Establishing and Maintaining Wildlife Food Sources Forest Regeneration Methods: Natural Regeneration, Direct Seeding and Planting Forest Vegetation Management Improving, Restoring, and Managing Wildlife Habitat in Florida: Sources of Technical Assistance for Rural Landowners Longleaf Pine Regeneration Pine Straw Management in Florida's Forests Planting Southern Pines Providing Wildlife Cover Selecting a Consulting Forester Steps to Marketing Timber Uses and Limitations of Soil Surveys for Forestry Using Soils to Guide Fertilizer Recommendations for Southern Pines Where Does a Forest Landowner Find Forestry Help? What is in a Natural Resource Management Plan? What to Expect in a Forest Inventory

Outcomes and Impacts
Since 1990, more than 2,300 landowners have enrolled over 670,000 acres in Florida’s Forest Stewardship Program. Forest Stewardship landowner workshops and tours have reached over 2,600 landowners in 40 Florida counties. Our program evaluations indicate that, on average, about 85% of participants find that the programs provide information that answers a specific question or problem they currently face, and 60% plan to change some aspect(s) of their natural resource management or planning as a result of the programs.

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