FORESTRY 411
TIMBER DAMAGE FROM HURRICANE MICHAEL:
$1.3 BILLION, 3 MILLION ACRES
Hurricane Michael slammed into the Florida Panhandle last week, leaving a path of destruction through the heart of the state's forestland. The estimated value of timber damage in Florida is $1.3 billion, impacting nearly three million acres of forestland.

“This is a catastrophic loss to the forest industry in the Florida Panhandle,” said Commissioner Adam H. Putnam. “We are committed to helping Florida recover from this devastating storm and will continue to work closely with the agriculture industry on hurricane-related damage assessments.”
 
The eleven counties impacted are some of the top timber-producing in the state: Bay, Calhoun, Franklin, Gadsden, Gulf, Holmes, Jackson, Leon, Liberty, Wakulla and Washington. Forest products manufacturing facilities, such as pulp mills, saw mills and pellet and Oriented Strand Board manufacturers also sustained damage.

 
“As the downed forest debris dries, the potential for wildfire conditions increase,” said Jim Karels, State Forester and Director of the Florida Forest Service. “It is critical for the Florida Forest Service to continue clearing trees and hurricane debris from roadways to reestablish fire lines and accessibility to timberlands.”

A burn ban has been instituted in Bay, Franklin, Gadsden, Gulf and Liberty Counties.

Truck weights for salvage timber, hurricane supplies and storm debris have been lifted. Read the Association's information alert here.

The Association is diligently gathering all available information regarding disaster assistance and other aids. As we find relevant materials, we are posting them to our website. Current offerings include a list of Florida's Master Loggers, consulting foresters and timber dealers; information about the burn ban; information about timber casualty loss; a post-hurricane guide to managing pests; the expedited regulatory process for building a wet deck for staging timber; and more.

We are immensely grateful that, despite the tremendous scope of Michael's damage, to our best knowledge all of our members survived the storm with no major injuries and/or loss of life. We are committed to doing everything we can to help those in the affected areas recover to the fullest extent possible.
FOREST RECOVERY ACT

The Forest Recovery Act   would allow forest landowners to take a tax deduction up to the fair market value lost in the case of a catastrophic event (such as a hurricane or wildfire) where a forest landowner loses his or her timber. 
 
While many other agricultural commodities benefit from crop insurance programs, timber does not and is virtually uninsurable in the private sector. The few insurance products that have come out are either cost prohibitive or exclude a major threat such as fire from being covered. This legislation would provide Florida's forest landowners with a crucial recourse against inevitable threats to protect their very unique, long term investment. 
FLORIDA PANHANDLE FORESTS AND DRINKING WATER WORKSHOP CANCELLED
The Florida Panhandle Forests and Drinking Water Workshop scheduled for November 13, 2018, has been cancelled due to the damage incurred from Hurricane Michael.
TALLAHASSEE MEMORIAL SERVICE FOR HAROLD MIKELL
A memorial service for longtime Association member and former director of the Florida Forest Service/state forester Harold Mikell will be held on Sunday, October 21, at the Timberlane Church of Christ in Tallahassee, beginning at 2 PM.
WORKING FORESTS WEEK
Don't forget! October 21-27, 2018, is Working Forests Week, a statewide awareness campaign to highlight the importance of Florida's working forests.

The destruction Hurricane Michael created in the heart of the Panhandle's timberland makes this message more important than ever. Please join us as we share the forestry story throughout Florida.

The Florida Forest Festival in Perry opens Wednesday, October 24, and runs through Saturday, October 27. See the full schedule of events here!
FFS LONG RANGE WEATHER FORECAST
The Florida Forest Service has released its long range weather forecast.
CHRISTIANSEN NAMED FOREST SERVICE CHIEF
Vicki Christiansen has been appointed to serve as the 19th Chief of the U.S. Forest Service. She had been serving in the interim position since March.

The  announcement   was made by U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue.
JOYNER TO LEAD FFVA
Former Association staff member Mike Joyner has been selected as president of the Florida Fruit and Vegetable Association. Prior to his appointment, he served as Florida's Assistant Commissioner for Agriculture and Consumer Services under Adam Putnam.
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
November 8, 2018
8 AM
Gainesville, FL

December 6, 2018
8 AM
Lake City, FL

December 13, 2018
8 AM
Blountstown, FL