Maple syrup is an iconic as well as economically and culturally important non-timber forest product in North America. The economic benefits derived from maple syrup production are substantial. In 2016, the U.S. produced 4.2 million gallons of syrup worth an estimated $147 million (USDA, 2017b). In addition, sugaring provides many with a deep, personal connection to forestland, a means to develop social capital and support rural identity, and a way to keep a valued family or cultural tradition alive (Hinrichs 1998, Murphy et al. 2012). Yet, producers of maple syrup in the U.S. are currently facing a diversity of challenges, including potential range shifts in the maple resource; increasing variability in the timing, duration and yield of syruping operations; threats to the maple resource from invasive species, pests and diseases; intergenerational land and business transfer challenges; high equipment costs and lack of government subsidies; forestland tax burden; competition with Canadian syrup producers, and regulatory impacts (MacIver et al. 2006, Farrell 2009, Skinner et al. 2010, Mathews and Iverson 2017).
Snyder, Stephanie A.; Kilgore, Michael A.; Emery, Marla R.; Schmitz, Marissa. 2018. A Profile of Lake States Maple Syrup Producers and Their Attitudes and Responses to Economic, Social, Ecological and Climate Challenges. University of Minnesota, Department of Forest Resources, Staff Paper Series No. 248. 70 p.