To promote Maine maple syrup, Governor Paul R. LePage today joined Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry Commissioner Walt Whitcomb, Legislators and Maine Maple Producers on the Blaine House lawn for an annual tradition -- the tapping of a maple tree.
The Blaine House tapping event also serves as a prelude to Maine Maple Sunday, which is held every year on the fourth Sunday of March. This year, Maine Maple Sunday will celebrate its 30th Anniversary on March 24 at more than 125 sugarhouses throughout Maine. Participating sugarhouses will be open for visitors to enjoy syrup and candy sampling, demonstrations of making syrup, sugarbush tours, and a variety of other activities.
"The maple industry has a huge potential for job creation," said Governor LePage. "This industry demonstrates the great opportunity Maine has to promote its natural resource-based economy, and promote prosperity for our citizens," added the Governor.
Maine had 1.47 million taps and produced 360,000 gallons of maple syrup in 2011, a 14% increase from 2010. The latest yearly figures show that Maine generated nearly $13 million in revenue from the maple industry. In 2011, Maine was third in the nation, producing 13 percent of maple syrup in the United States. Figures for 2012 are not yet available.
"Once again, Governor LePage is showing his support for the important role the maple industry plays in Maine's economy by kicking off the maple syrup season right here on the Blaine House lawn," said Commissioner Walt Whitcomb. "The maple industry demonstrates how Maine can have multiple uses of its natural resources and how a wood lot has an array of benefits -- maple syrup, wood production, recreation and open space."