Nearly 300 Municipalities Join the Fight to Save the Maple Forest
With producers now out in the regions’ forests for sugaring season, Québec Maple Syrup Producers (QMSP) is pleased to announce they have the support of 272 municipalities and 20 MRCs through resolutions in favour of protecting their future on public lands.
“There is a consensus emerging in Québec. People know the maple is not just another tree. It has a unique place in our culture and economy. Municipal government support should be seen as a powerful call for ensuring protection of the maple syrup industry in public forestlands. The time is now for the Ministère des Ressources naturelles et des Forêts to heed this message and stop the aggressive harvesting of hardwoods by big logging companies to the detriment of other usages of the resource, such as maple production,” said QMSP president Luc Goulet, adding that the organization continues gathering support from towns and villages in Québec’s producing regions.
The council resolutions by municipalities and MRCs demand public forest protection, recognizing the vital economic and environmental importance of maple syrup production. They not only know the numbers: they see them plain as day. Maple producers create and maintain the equivalent of 12,582 full-time jobs, contribute up to $1,133 Billion to the GDP of Québec and Canada, and provide ecological services valued at $1.62 Billion each year.
The Québec Government Sows Seeds of Uncertainty in Our Regions
These municipal endorsements come at a critical time. The Ministère des Ressources naturelles et des Forêts (MRNF) is stalling the release its Master Plan for the Development of Maple Production in Public Forests, needed to protect the industry’s potential in public forestlands over the short, medium, and long terms.
“Out here in the regions, everything remains on hold due to the uncertainty caused by Québec City. We’ve been waiting for almost three years, during which time business expansion and tapping decisions have ground to a halt. This has major consequences on the ability of young people to get into the industry and, therefore, the dynamic economic growth that would engender. The situation continues to deteriorate in the regions. Confidence is eroding. This is unacceptable. The loggers are cutting down maples right now with no regard for a disappearing maple syrup potential. Minister Maïté Blanchette Vézina must end her silence, table the Master Plan, and clarify the rules for the public forest,” said Goulet.
QMSP has been in discussions with MRNF since December 2020, when the Québec Timber Production Strategy was announced without consideration for maple production. The Master Plan was officially tabled in May 2022 and public consultations were held in July. But the government still has not said what it’s going to do. QMSP’s position has not changed: we demand the protection of 200,000 hectares of public forest, enough to ensure the necessary and appropriate growth of this province’s thriving maple industry.
About Québec Maple Syrup Producers and the Érable du Québec Brand
Québec Maple Syrup Producers (QMSP) represents the interests of 13,300 women and men and more than 8,000 enterprises that produce maple syrup. Québec provides an average 72% of the world’s maple syrup supply, exporting it to more than 70 countries.
Director of Corporate Communications