FORESTRY 411
FLORIDA EMERGENCY HURRICANE SUPPLEMENTAL REQUEST

The Florida Forest Service has requested supplemental funds on the federal level to assist the recovery of tree farmers, producers and manufacturers after Hurricane Michael.


Prompt action is needed. Please ask your congressional representatives for their help with passage of this request before this term ends.

Key Message: Please support funding for Florida's Emergency Hurricane Supplemental Request. Those in the forest industry affected by Hurricane Michael have few resources for recovery. Reforestation of the damaged and destroyed acres is vital for the industry as well as the state's economy and environment.

Find your  House  or  Senate  member.
FARM BILL PASSES
The 2018 Farm Bill passed the Senate and the House this week with strong bipartisan support. Our partners on the federal level report that, among other things, the bill supports important programs that benefit forest conservation and markets; reauthorizes the Conservation Reserve Program, the Environmental Quality Incentives Program and the Biomass Program for Advanced Biofuels; contains the stronger Senate version of the Timber Innovation Act; and includes a number of provisions promoting the use of sawmill-derived fuels for heat and power.

NEW WOTUS RULE PROPOSED

A proposal for a new Waters of the U.S. (WOTUS) rule was rolled out this week. Based on a narrower interpretation of the Clean Water Act and case law than the current version, the proposal should help bring more clarity and certainty to the question of federal jurisdiction. It is believed that the proposal should also better address concerns of the forest products industry about federal overreach, especially related to fiber supply.

FOREST INDUSTRY LEADERS MEET WITH COMMISSIONER-ELECT NIKKI FRIED
Agriculture Commissioner-elect Nikki Fried met with representatives of the forest industry at the Association office in Tallahassee this week.

The group shared the economic and environmental benefits of working forests, discussed the impacts of Hurricane Michael on the industry and updated the Commissioner-elect about state and federal relief requests. They also talked about the importance of a continued partnership with the Florida Forest Service and the programs they provide, such as prescribed fire, wildfire protection, Rural and Family Lands and a proposed Healthy Forests reforestation cost-share program to help with hurricane recovery efforts.

"The Commissioner expressed an interest in doing work days, so we are looking forward to being able to give her a hands-on experience of the forest industry," shared Executive Vice President Alan Shelby. "We are committed to doing everything in our power to help make her time as commissioner as successful as possible."
EMERGENCY FOREST RESTORATION PROGRAM DEADLINE AHEAD
Landowners in Florida counties impacted by Hurricane Michael can apply for the Emergency Forest Restoration Program (EFRP) to address damages from Hurricane Michael. EFRP provides payments to eligible owners of nonindustrial private forest (NIPF) land to enable the owners to carry out emergency measures to restore land damaged by a natural disaster. EFRP sign-up began on Oct. 23, 2018, and ends on  Dec. 21, 2018 .

Landowners who suffered damage can apply for cost-share assistance at their local USDA Service Center. After applications are received, the Florida Forest Service will work with the Farm Service Agency (FSA) to provide technical assistance by evaluating the damage and developing a plan to restore the NIPF land. The local FSA county committee will determine land eligibility and approve applications.  


HUNTING FOR A WAY TO SAVE MONEY?
Partnering with Outdoor Underwriters, Inc., the Association offers our members special reduced rates for liability insurance for hunting leases and timberland.
 
Click here for details  or contact Mike Branch (850.222.5646 or  Mike@ForestFla.org ).
CALENDAR OF EVENTS
January 22, 2019
10 AM EST
Executive Committee Meeting
Tallahassee, FL

March 6-7, 2019
Forestry at the Capitol Events & Board Meeting
Tallahassee, FL

April 30, 2019
10 AM EST
Executive Committee Meeting
Location TBD