Hopkins quoted in BDN story on uncertain future of country’s largest sugarbush

Kathy Hopkins, a maple syrup expert with the University of Maine Cooperative Extension, was quoted in the Bangor Daily News article, “Maine’s richest source of maple sugar faces uncertain future.” Big Six is the largest U.S. sugarbush, comprising 340,000 taps and a quarter of Maine’s syrup production, according to the article. Big Six is expected to apply for an award under the Land for Maine’s Future program that would complete a deal giving the landowner a $5.7 million conservation easement, preserving the sugarbush and allowing access and recreational activities on more than 23,000 acres, the article states. If the award isn’t received by the end of 2018, the 20-year leases signed this year by producers can be terminated, and the sugarbush could be cut, the BDN reported. “What other industry would put up with being threatened to have 25 percent of its output eliminated? Nobody would. There would be outcry everywhere,” Hopkins said. “And that’s what this situation is. Maine needs that production.”