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

Annual Sturgeon release in Vanderhoof cancelled due to COVID-19

Fish will instead be released by the staff of Freshwater Fisheries Society of BC.

BC Hydro opens applications for COVID-19 Relief Fund to residential customers

Small business owners will be able to apply to the fund next week.

Northern B.C. charity rolling out COVID-19 relief funds soon

United Way of Northern BC say funding requests are outweighing the amount of donations received.

UPDATE: First presumptive case of COVID-19 in Prince Rupert

Doctor says it was a visitor, Northern Health won’t confirm

UPDATE: Canadians awake to extra COVID-19 emergency benefit money, feds clarify changes

The CRA and federal officials are working to clarify the confusion around payments

B.C. sorting medical equipment sales, donation offers for COVID-19

Supply hub has call out for masks, gowns, coronavirus swabs

COVID-19: University of Northern B.C. moves to virtual grad celebration

The College of New Caledonia and Thompson Rivers University have cancelled their events

B.C. records five more deaths due to COVID-19, 45 new cases

A total of 838 people have recovered from the virus

Major crimes investigating sudden death of North Okanagan child

The 8 year old was flown to Kelowna General Hospital and died hours later

Easter Bunny added to B.C.’s list of essential workers

Premier John Horgan authorizes bunny to spread “eggs-ellent cheer” throughout province

Travellers returning to B.C. must have self-isolation plan or face quarantine: Horgan

Premier John Horgan says forms must be filled out by travellers

More than 400 animals have been adopted amid pandemic: B.C. SPCA

People are taking this time of social distancing to find a loyal companion through the animal welfare group

Most Read