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

Salmon Arm boy is only Para-Nordic athlete at BC Winter games

Thirteen-year-old Kaden Baum competed in three races on his sit-ski at the games.

Home loss ends season for Sicamous Eagles

A defeat at the hands of the 100 Mile House Wranglers on Feb. 22 was the Eagles’ last outing.

PHOTOS: PeeWee Silverbacks finish season with 22 game win streak

The team has gone undefeated since November last year

Word on the street: What is your favourite pie-related memory?

With the 24th-annual Best of the Shuswap Pie Baking Contest taking place… Continue reading

Morning Start: Dogs can smell cancer

Your morning start for Monday, February 24, 2020

Snowfall warning in effect for the Coquihalla Highway

An unstable airmass is producing heavy flurries over parts of the southern highway passes

B.C.’s seventh coronavirus patient at home in Fraser Health region

Canada in ‘containment’ as COVID-19 spreads in other countries

Harvey Weinstein found guilty of sex crimes in landmark #MeToo trial

The cases against the Hollywood mogul started the #MeToo movement

Hidden treasures of the Okanagan’s Curiosity Shop

A set of celluloid topped glove and collar boxes are some of the many interesting finds in Keremeos

Vernon protest draws close to 40 people

Earth Strike Vernon holds peaceful rally in support of Wet’suwet’en people and land

CRA puts focus on paper returns as tax-filing season opens

The federal tax collector expects to handle about two million paper returns this calendar year out of roughly 26 million filings

Teck withdraws application for Frontier mine, citing discourse over climate change

The Vancouver-based company said it will take a $1.13-billion writedown on the Frontier project in Alberta

B.C. VIEWS: Pipeline dispute highlights need for clarity

As the B.C. treaty process grinds on, uncertainty remains

Most Read