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

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Q&A: Interior Health CEO answers questions on COVID-19 response

Susan Brown, president and CEO of Interior Health, answers questions regarding COVID-19

Air Canada extends suspension of flights in and out of West Kootenay Regional Airport until April 30

It’s still unknown if flights will resume at Castlegar’s airport on May 1

School District 20 to improve childcare services for those working in emergency services

The district has launched a survey to aid in the consultation process

Trail closes all sani-dumps

City is focusing on maintaining core services

Kiwanis, Ferraro Foods helping Trail seniors stay safe

Kiwanis rallies to provide Trail seniors grocery delivery service

B.C. couple celebrates 61st anniversary through seniors’ home window

Frank and Rena Phillips marked occasion at Nanaimo Seniors Village this week while social distancing

A look at some of the B.C. inventors creating life-saving tools in fight against COVID-19

Groups across B.C. are working together to create what they hope will help people affected by the pandemic

Association launches French-language games, online tools for families learning at home

Games, culture and vocabulary included in new virtual resources

‘There can be no ambiguity’: Travellers brought home to B.C. must self-isolate

Health Minister Adrian Dix said the mandatory isolation must be abided by

Interior Health confirms five additional cases in Okanagan COVID-19 outbreak

The total amount of confirmed cases at Bylands Nurseries Ltd. is 19; no further cases expected

55+ BC Games cancelled amid COVID-19 concerns

Greater Victoria set to host 2021 event

ANKORS East Kootenay details concerns surrounding harm reduction amid COVID-19

Harm reduction providers are having to keep up with rapidly changing situation

BC Hydro offers three-month bill ‘holiday’ for those affected by COVID-19

Industrial customers can defer half of their power bills

Some April Fool’s Day jokes bring much-needed laughter; others tone deaf to COVID-19

Police are warning the public not to use the ongoing pandemic as a punchline

Most Read