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Florida Approved For First Ever Timber Block Grants

A pine tree that fell due to Hurricane Michael with an artificial cavity insert for Red-Cockaded Woodpeckers at Tall Timbers.
Eleanor Clark

Florida is the first state to receive block grants for the timber industry from the United States Department of Agriculture.

Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried sent out a video on Twitterannouncing the state will receive a block grant to help timber farmers recover from Hurricane Michael.

“Florida is going to receive $380 million in block grants to our timber industry," said Fried.

Florida Forest Service Director Jim Karels says it’ll help the agriculture industry throughout the Panhandle.

“It won’t make a landowner whole. It’s really based on probably less than 50 percent of the value of what was there. But it will give them funding to help reforest, get the land cleaned up," explained Karels.

Checks will be given out to applying landowners categorized by acreage and type of timber grown. Fried said in the next coming months she will be working with the state to begin giving out checks.

Blaise Gainey is a State Government Reporter for WFSU News. Blaise hails from Windermere, Florida. He graduated from The School of Journalism at the Florida A&M University. He formerly worked for The Florida Channel, WTXL-TV, and before graduating interned with WFSU News. He is excited to return to the newsroom. In his spare time he enjoys watching sports, Netflix, outdoor activities and anything involving his daughter.