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The Division of Forestry at the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services announced recently the Longleaf Pine Ecosystem Restoration Landowner Incentive Program will be accepting applications from non-industrial private forest landowners Monday, April 11 through Friday, May 6.
“Longleaf pine forests once covered a vast range from Texas to Virginia but have been reduced to less than four percent of historical area due to conversion to other land uses,” said Jim Karels, Director of the Division of Forestry. “Longleaf pine forests are highly valued for their resistance to damage by insects, disease, wildfire and storms and for their yield of high quality wood products, biological diversity and scenic beauty.”
The program, supported through a grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Forest Service, offers incentive payments for completion of timber stand improvement, invasive species control, prescribed burning, planting longleaf pine, native plant understory establishment and mechanical underbrush treatments.
Its goal is to increase the acreage of healthy Longleaf pine ecosystems in Florida by assisting non-industrial private forest (NIPF) landowners with the necessary long-term investment required to establish and maintain this valuable ecosystem.
NIPF lands located in the historical natural range of Longleaf pine are eligible. All qualifying applications received during the sign-up period will be evaluated and ranked for funding approval.
To obtain application forms and more information on program requirements and procedures, visit a local Division of Forestry office or www.fl-dof.com.
For more information about the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, visit www.FreshFromFlorida.com or follow Commissioner Putnam on Facebook,www.facebook.com/adamputnam, or Twitter, @adamputnam.