A sneaky sap thief has added four taps to this large maple tree in Mount Douglas Park. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)

Sap thief taps Saanich park maple trees, faces hefty fine

One tree found with four taps in Mount Doug Park

Maple syrup is stereotypically Canadian and often associated with the far chillier east coast, but a sneaky sap thief’s equipment was recently spotted in Mount Douglas Park.

Whether it’s dumped mattresses or stolen trees, the Friends of Mount Douglas Park Society members are always on the lookout for unusual things in the park. Most recently, society president Darrell Wick noticed that someone added taps and buckets to maple trees in the park.

READ ALSO: Annual Salmon Carcass Transplant draws Saanich residents to Douglas Creek

From the main trail, it’s difficult to spot the taps, tubes and buckets as they’re well hidden but Wick knows of at least two tapped trees.

Just a short walk off the trail, a large white 18.8-litre bucket is propped against one of the maple trees with blue tubing feeding into it. Wick calls it an “assault on the park.”

Not only did the person go off the trail and trample the forest floor, but they also cut holes to add four taps to one tree, he explained.

Wick emphasized that bringing tree-tapping equipment into the park for the purposes of taking sap out of the park isn’t permitted.

He’s seen tapped trees in the park in previous years but noted this is the first time someone has used buckets this large. If whoever did this thinks the large bucket will fill up, they’re delusional, he said, noting that the climate is wrong and that one cannot produce that much sap.

READ ALSO: ‘Total jerks’ dump living room furniture just south of Mount Douglas Park

The District of Saanich website outlines the rules of park and trail etiquette, one of which asks that visitors maintain and respect Mount Douglas Park’s fragile ecosystems.

Park users are asked to “take nothing but photographs, [and] leave nothing but footprints.”

Saanich Parks and Recreation staff will be called in to remove the taps and buckets from the trees. All of the equipment will be confiscated, said Eva Riccus, senior manager of parks. She explained that the guilty party can claim it, but they’ll be fined about $100 in accordance with the bylaws when they do.

Wick and the other members of the Friends of Mount Douglas Park Society are grateful to the park users who report wrongdoings because, in such a large park, it would be impossible for the society members to spot everything.


@devonscarlett
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

devon.bidal@saanichnews.com

District of Saanichparks

Just Posted

Hospital’s Chief of Staff asks residents for help containing COVID-19

Invermere & District Hospital Chief of Staff says COVID-19 cases here, caution and care needed

Interior Health officials outline pandemic response in virtual town hall

Kelowna-Lake County MLA Norm Letnick moderates digital discussion, Q&A with Interior Health leadership

MP Morrison touts non-partisan effort to provide relief amid COVID-19 pandemic

The federal government has announced a slew of economic initiatives for those impacted by the pandemic

Burning restrictions to lower risk for COVID-19

Province issues burning restrictions to help everyone breathe easier

B.C. COVID-19 contact restrictions working, Dr. Bonnie Henry says

’Not out of the woods yet’ as next two weeks are critical

B.C. is seeing the highest rate of COVID-19 recovery in Canada, and there’s a few reasons why

British Columbia was one of the first to see rise in COVID-19 cases, and has also switched up testing

Sewers stitch masks to free up supplies for front-line health-care workers

“We have little old ladies sewing up a storm,” said Joan Davis

Experts weigh in on best handling of groceries during COVID-19 pandemic

Study suggests the virus can live for up to 24 hours on cardboard and up to three days on plastic

COVID-19 world update: Enforceable quarantine in NYC?; France orders 1 billion masks

Spain warns EU’s future at stake; New York governor calls Trump’s idea ‘federal declaration of war

Earth Hour 2020 kicks off online Saturday night

Action moves online due to COVID-19

B.C. COVID-19 cases rise 92 to 884, one more death, 81 in care

Outbreak action underway in 12 long-term care homes

B.C. veterinarians want to smooth the fur of COVID-19-worried pet owners

Vets expect to continue giving your fur buddies the help they need while social distancing

B.C. VIEWS: Small businesses need our help

Just as integral in neighbourhoods in Vancouver and Surrey as they are in Prince George or Kelowna

‘Tremendous’ response from blood donors has supply keeping pace with demand

About 400,000 of Canada’s 37 million residents give blood on a regular basis

Most Read