The Vermont Statutes Online
Subchapter 001 : GENERAL PROVISIONS(Cite as: 10 V.S.A. § 2606b)
§ 2606b. License of forestlands for maple sugar production
(a) The General Assembly finds and declares that:
(1) Maple sugaring is an important cultural tradition of Vermont life that should be maintained and encouraged.
(2) Maple sugaring is an important component of the agricultural and forest products economy in Vermont and is increasingly necessary for farmers that must diversify in order to continue to farm in Vermont.
(3) Maple sugaring is a sustainable use of forestland.
(4) State forestland should be managed and used for multiple uses, including maple sugar production.
(b) It is hereby adopted as State policy to permit limited use of designated State-owned land under the jurisdiction of the Department for maple sugar production.
(c) Pursuant to guidelines developed by the Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation, in consultation with the Vermont Maple Sugar Makers' Association, the Department may issue licenses for the use of State forestland for the tapping of maple trees, the collection of maple sap, and the transportation of such sap to a processing site located off State forestland or to sites located on State forestland if approved by the Commissioner. All tapping of maple trees authorized under a license shall be conducted according to the guidelines for tapping maple trees established by the Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation, in consultation with the Vermont Maple Sugar Makers' Association. Each person awarded a license under this section shall maintain and repair any road, water crossing, or work area according to requirements set by the Department in the license. Each license shall include such additional terms and conditions set by the Department as may be necessary to preserve forest health and to assure compliance with the requirements of this chapter and applicable rules. A license shall be issued for a fixed term not to exceed five years and shall be renewable for two five-year terms subsequent to the initial license. Subsequent renewals shall be allowed where agreed upon by the Department and the licensee. The Department shall have power to terminate or modify a license for cause, including damage to forest health.
(d) The Commissioner may adopt rules to implement the requirements of this section.
(e) There is hereby established the Maple Advisory Board to provide the Commissioner of Forests, Parks and Recreation with guidance on licensing of State forestland for maple sugar production, including identification of potential sites on State lands for licensure. The Board shall be composed of:
(1) Three employees of the Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation, appointed by the Commissioner.
(2) Three sugar makers, at least one of which is an independent sugar maker unaffiliated with an association, appointed by the Secretary of Agriculture, Food and Markets.
(3) One member of the Vermont Forest Products Association designated by the Association.
(4) One member of either the University of Vermont Proctor maple research center or the University of Vermont agricultural extension service, appointed by the Commissioner.
(f) A per tap license charge shall be imposed on the taps installed in the license area. The Commissioner shall establish this per tap license charge at a reasonable rate that reflects current market rates. Charges collected under this section shall be deposited in the Lands and Facilities Trust Fund established under 3 V.S.A. § 2807.
(g) [Repealed.] (Added 2009, No. 21, § 1; amended 2015, No. 171 (Adj. Sess.), § 9.)