North Country News
12:20 pm
Tue April 2, 2013

Senator Schumer Introduces Bill to Aid Maple Production

Senator Charles Schumer at Parker's Sugarhouse
Credit WAMC/Pat Bradley

At a sugarhouse in northern New York, New York’s senior Senator announced he is introducing legislation to increase maple production across New York State.

Senator Charles Schumer at Parker's Sugarhouse
Credit WAMC/Pat Bradley


New York Senator Charles Schumer, a Democrat,  traveled to Parker’s Sugarhouse in West Chazy Monday to watch and learn how maple trees are tapped and the sap is boiled to create maple syrup.
    
Parker’s is one of the largest producers in the state, taping 42-thousand trees on 700 acres, using state-of-the art vacuum tubing between the trees.  Despite large operations like Parker’s, Senator Schumer says there is huge untapped potential across the state.

To accomplish that, and become the global leader in maple production, Schumer is introducing the Maple Tapping Access Program Act or the Maple TAP Act.

One of the maple producers asked the Senator for help in gaining access to trees in the Adirondacks, which has been blocked to tapping.

Parker’s Sugarhouse owner Earl Parker is a past president of the Northeastern New York Maple Producers’ Association. He hopes the legislation will help producers that have been blocked from accessing more trees for years, especially in the Adirondacks.

Cornell Maple Program Northern Maple Specialist and Uihlein Forest Director Mike Farrell says a Cornell study found there are about 300-million potentially tappable trees in New York, most in the North Country.

Farrell was glad to see the Tap Act in last year’s Farm Bill, and is more enthusiastic to see Senator Schumer re-introduce it with the addition of grant programs.

New York State currently taps about 1.8 million maple trees.

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