Schumer proposes federal grants to tap maple syrup on private land

"Despite reports that tapping season has begun, hundreds of millions of untapped trees are just sitting there, full of a lucrative natural resource that could propel New York to the top of the maple industry, as well as provide a huge economic boost and new jobs to maple-rich Clinton County," he said Monday.

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Schumer said New York taps less than 1 percent of its maple trees in part because most of the trees that could be tapped are on private land. He said Quebec has 200 million fewer maple trees than New York but taps one-third of them, which makes the Canadian province the world's leading syrup producer.

A statement released by Schumer's office said the bill would provide federal grants to states that "encourage individual landowners to open up their trees to maple tapping." It would also give money to states that support market promotion and research.

The grant program would be run by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and Schumer said he would try to insert the idea into the farm bill.

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