Squirrels Declare War on Vermont Syrup Producers

DANVILLE, Vt. (AP) – Vermont maple syrup producers have more than the weather to worry about. Frenetic squirrels are chomping on equipment, crimping the flow of sap at some operations. Damage from wildlife – deer, bear woodpeckers, and squirrels – is not unusual for maple producers, but this year an abundant population of squirrels is disrupting plastic sap tubing and spouts at some sugaring operations in New England. That means producers must go out into sometimes deep snow to find and replace the damaged lines that transport the sap from the maple trees or other chewed or missing equipment, which producers say can be time-consuming and expensive. Ruth Goodrich of Goodrich’s Maple Farm in Danville, Vermont said of the squirrels “Occasionally they declare war. And it seems like they have this year.”

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