Increase in Crown land available for maple syrup industry
04 July 2023
FREDERICTON (GNB) – Current and future maple syrup producers will benefit from an additional 5,000 hectares of forested Crown land available for leasing over the next five years.
“We are pleased to be partnering with the maple sugar industry as we support economic growth,” said Natural Resources and Energy Development Minister Mike Holland. “By making these lands available, we will continue encouraging private investment in New Brunswick agriculture.”
Land will be made available for expanding existing sugaries and for new development. Expansions will be assessed through an application process and new development will be evaluated through a request for proposals process.
Existing sugaries can apply for Crown land additions, enabling tapping in small areas adjacent to their current operations. The Crown land available for new development will include maple dominated stands outside the pre-existing developed areas in the northwest. Additionally, allowances will be made for certified organic, low-intensity tapping in maple-dominated conservation forest patches.
The provincial government is completing the duty to consult process with First Nations while seeking out interest in the expansion of maple sugaries. This consultation process will be completed before any final decisions are made.
The maple sugar industry currently uses 14,000 hectares of Crown forests, which includes more than 4,000 hectares that were made available for leasing in 2015.
Forest inventories show opportunities for maple sugar production on private woodlots in certain regions of the province. This data will be made available to help encourage development on private land.
“The maple syrup industry in New Brunswick is an important part of our economy and our communities,” said Agriculture, Aquaculture and Fisheries Minister Margaret Johnson. “Our province is proud of the sweet maple products we produce that are delivered to homes around the world. My department will work with the industry in efforts to develop and market more value-added maple products. We are a global leader in maple syrup production recording the third highest production of maple syrup in the world in 2022. This request for proposals will help the industry grow even more.”
The industry has more than 200 commercial producers and generates about 2,285 seasonal and full-time jobs. New Brunswick maple products reached a value of $33 million in 2022.
“The long-awaited announcement of these new Crown land allocations marks an important milestone for New Brunswick’s maple syrup industry,” said Frédérick Dion, president of the New Brunswick Maple Syrup Association. “Our member producers will now be able to implement their growth plans to meet the ever-increasing demand for maple derived products around the world. This will also allow newcomers to start their business and embark on a very flourishing industry that is far from having reached its full potential. And, far from being negligible, this announcement makes it possible to further protect unique natural habitats that ensure a better balance between economic development and environmental protection.”
More information is available online.