MAINE - With maple season upon us, Forest Rangers are finding an increasing number of illegal maple taps around the pine tree state. And as our Kristin Hosfelt reports, it's become problematic for private landowners.
"We're not seeing small trespassing," says Forest Ranger, Thomas Liba, "we're seeing large scale- thirty, forty, fifty, sometimes more- taps per area."
Forest Rangers are finding a growing number of illegal taps on private property.
"Some (landowners) are very distraught, that's trespassing, that's coming on to their piece of land, and causing damage to their land."
Forest Rangers say one of the biggest issues is that this is a silent crime, so often times land owners who use their trees for lumber, won't realize the damage until it's already done.
"It happens about now, you have a window of 4 to 6 weeks for sugaring, and then maybe a year or two down the road- maybe even longer- landowner decides to harvest their land, the wood gets to the mill and suddenly their receiving less for their wood than what they initially thought."
The first log is the most valuable, and because taps are at the base of the tree, it ruins the most lucrative piece.
"These tap holes eventually grow over, and it creates a stain up and down the tree."
Rangers say if you're tapping illegally, you face penalties from $250 dollar fines to jail time.
Kristin Hosfelt joined WVII ABC 7 and WFVX FOX Bangor News team in September of 2012. Pursuing a career in TV news has been a dream of hers since she first stepped foot in a news studio at 12-years-old. She has a true passion for storytelling and loves knowing each day working in the field, will be different than the day before.
She's a California native and a graduate of San Jose State University with a BS in broadcast journalism. She previously worked as a reporter, anchor, and producer for SJSU's student-run newscast, and interned at KCRA News in Sacramento, CA and NBC Bay Area in San Jose, CA.
When she's not in the newsroom she enjoys cooking, reading, and traveling. She's a Packers Shareholder, a cross fit junkie and she's always looking for the best place to get Mexican food.
She's thrilled to be here on the east coast and if you see her around be sure to say hello!