The Florida Forest Service is announcing that applications are now being accepted for the 2020 Southern Pine Beetle Assistance and Prevention Program. The program is limited to 44 northern Florida counties, the known range of the southern pine beetle, and open to non-industrial, private forest landowners through August 6, 2020.
“Pine forests are an essential part of Florida’s ecosystem,” said Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried. “Helping landowners take preventative action significantly reduces the risk and impacts associated with the southern pine beetle and is critical to preserving the benefits that forests provide Floridians and visitors alike.”
The southern pine beetle (SPB) is one of the most economically devastating forest pests of the Southeast, with periodic outbreaks leading to deaths of millions of pine trees. Since 2015, over 460 SPB infestations have been reported in Florida, killing trees on more than 2,200 acres. This pales in comparison to the last major outbreaks between 1999 and 2002, which caused an estimated $59 million in timber losses on over 24,000 acres.
Since it was first offered in 2005, the Southern Pine Beetle Assistance and Prevention Program has been implemented on more than 197,000 acres and helped thousands of landowners.
The Southern Pine Beetle Assistance and Prevention Program, supported through a grant by the United States Forest Service, provides incentive payments for landowners who conduct a first pulpwood thinning and offers partial cost reimbursement for activities, such as prescribed burning, mechanical underbrush treatments, and the planting of longleaf or slash pine rather than the loblolly pine, the beetle’s preferred species. Qualified landowners can apply for up to two different practices per year, and funding requests may not exceed $10,000. All qualifying applications received during the submission period will be evaluated and ranked for approval.
Visit FDACS.gov/SPBPrevention to learn more about the Southern Pine Beetle Assistance Program.
Applying to the Program
Applications will be accepted through August 6, 2020.
To apply to the program, landowners should use the links below to obtain the necessary documents, or by contacting your local Florida Forest Service County Forester.
2020 Guidelines and Forms
- Technical Guidelines Booklet
- Southern Pine Beetle Assistance and Prevention Application
- All applicants must also register their W-9 information at the State of Florida Vendor Website: File Substitute W-9. Vendors are required to have a verified Substitute Form W-9 on file with the Florida Department of Financial Services. A printout of the Substitute Form W-9 must be included with the registration materials.