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State Lands Division
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Maple Sugaring on State Lands

Background
The Vermont Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation has been working closely with the Vermont Maple Sugar Makers Association to make additional state land under the jurisdiction of the Department available under license agreement to sugar makers for maple sugaring. In cooperation with the Association, we have developed an application process along with tapping guidelines and license requirements. In 2009, the Department entered into three new sugaring licenses on Department Lands (Okemo State, Groton and Mount Mansfield State Forests).  The Department has currently identified one new site at Elmore State Park that will now become available for maple sugaring by interested sugar makers.

Application Process
The Department is currently soliciting applications from sugar makers interested in sugaring the Elmore State Park site.  Applications for any sites other than the one site currently being offered will not be considered at this time.  Applications must be received by the Department by August 20, 2010 in order to be considered for a sugaring license (.pdf) (.doc).

One completed copy of the application must be submitted to:

Mike Fraysier, ANR Lands Director
VT Dept. of Forests, Parks & Recreation
103 South Main Street, 10 South
Waterbury, VT 05671-0601
802-241-3682
mike.fraysier@state.vt.us

Applications can be emailed or sent via traditional mail, but in either case, must be received by the Department by 4:00 p.m. on August 20, 2010. Applications received after this date may not be considered by the Department.

The Department will review the applications, with the goal of selecting the best applicant by September, 2010. Awarding of a sugaring license will be based on how the applicant addresses the following criteria within the application: 

  • Sugarbush Management and Operations: Compliance with Department approved tapping guidelines and current sugarbush management and operations standards. Demonstrated commitment to sound resource stewardship and management as articulated in the application.
  • Expertise, Ability, and Capacity of Applicant: Prior sugaring experience, ability to move forward in timely manner, demonstrated financial capacity to undertake the proposed work, etc.
  • Miscellaneous: Location of applicant to licensed area, level of necessary supporting infrastructure (power, storage building(s), road and trail network), completeness and quality of application, educational values of proposal, applicants’ financial/legal standing with the State, etc.  

In the event that more than one applicant for the parcel is qualified, submits their application on time, meets all necessary requirements, and if the Department believes there is no obvious benefit to the State in awarding the sugaring license to a particular party, then the successful applicant will be determined by lottery.

A license agreement will be developed with the successful applicant for the Elmore State Park site. The Department’s goal is to execute this license agreement by early fall, 2010 so that the sugar maker can complete most of their work on site prior to the onset of winter and the upcoming sugaring season.

Tapping Guidelines and Licensing Requirements
All new sugaring licenses for Department lands issued under this program will require compliance with the provisions contained within the “Guidelines and Licensing Requirements for Tapping and Collecting Sap from Maple Trees on Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation Lands”. It is extremely important that sugar makers interested in submitting an application to the Department under this program carefully review this document beforehand!  In addition to identifying what trees can be tapped and should not be tapped, this document addresses tree and forest health issues, use of vehicles to access the sugarbush, practices to protect soil and water resources, requirements for access trails, and guidelines for buildings and equipment. Applicants should make sure their applications specifically addresses how their proposal will comply with these tapping guidelines.

This document also outlines the role of the Maple Advisory Board, describes the criteria and process for awarding sugaring licenses, summarizes how license fees will be assessed, and outlines other key license provisions. Generally, license terms will be for a period of five years, with the option to renew for an additional two terms (for a maximum license period of 15 years). License fees will include a one-time $50 administrative fee as well as an annual per tap fee based on 25% of the average price per pound between bulk Vermont Fancy Grade maple syrup and Vermont Commercial Grade maple syrup.

Site Information
For 2010, the Department has identified one new site at Elmore State Park that will now be made available to sugar makers under license agreement.

It is the applicants’ responsibility to be familiar with the sugaring site and to address any site-specific concerns within their application. Applicants are strongly Sugarhouseencouraged to conduct a site visit and visually inspect the site before submitting their application(s) to the Department.  Note: The most practical means of accessing the Elmore State Park site may be across adjacent private lands.  Applicants must obtain landowner permission to cross any private lands to access this site. Department staff will not be available to accompany applicants on site visits. Also, applicants should realize that while the Elmore site is generally depicted on the map, it has not been flagged or otherwise marked on the ground. Precise boundaries of each sugaring area will be established by the Department prior to executing any sugaring license. 

Please note: While other state park or state forest lands may eventually become available for sugar making, the Department is only soliciting applications for the Elmore site at this time. Applications or requests for sugaring other sites on Department lands will not be considered at this time. State lands under the jurisdiction of the Department of Fish and Wildlife and the Department of Environmental Conservation are not available for maple sugaring.

Contact Information
For general information, on this program contact:       

Mike Fraysier, ANR Lands Director
VT Dept. of Forests, Parks & Recreation
103 South Main Street, 10 South
Waterbury, VT 05671-0601
802-241-3682
mike.fraysier@state.vt.us

 



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