Sen. Linares: Proposal Can Help Maple Producers, Boost CT Agri-Tourism

May 1, 2014

A bill co-sponsored by Sen. Art Linares which makes it easier for landowners to allow maple syrup collection on their land has been approved by the state legislature.

The bill gives landowners immunity from civil liability for injuries sustained by people they invite or permit on their land, without charge, to engage in maple-sugaring activities. The immunity applies only if the people are engaging in maple-sugaring on behalf of a nonprofit organization or corporation for its own use or for distribution to other nonprofit organizations or corporations.

“This proposal aims to allow the maple syrup industry to expand to meet the increasing demand for agri-tourism and Connecticut grown products” Sen. Linares said.

Currently, only a very small percentage of eligible trees in Connecticut are tapped. Part of the reason for the low level tapping in Connecticut is that land owners are concerned for the liability incurred by opening forest land to tapping.

The bill, which awaits the governor’s signature into law, has the support of the Connecticut Farm Bureau Association and the Maple Syrup Producers Association of Connecticut.