Maple sugarbush with collection buckets

Wisconsin Extension Maple Program

UW–Madison Division of Extension’s Maple Syrup Program is a new three-year project supported by the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) through the Acer Access and Development Program. The program’s main areas of focus include the following:

  • Supporting sustainable forest practices of maple syrup producers, especially relative to climate change adaptation strategies
  • Providing resources and support to foresters and other advisors who work with maple syrup producers
  • Better understanding and supporting the needs of Tribal communities in Wisconsin related to maple syrup production

Extension will partner with other statewide and regional organizations and programs to deliver the project including the Wisconsin Maple Syrup Producers Association, University of Minnesota Sustainable Forests Education Cooperative, UW-Stevens Point Wisconsin Forestry Center, Northern Institute of Applied Climate Science and the USDA Northern Forests Climate Hub.

Tribal Acknowledgement

We hope to approach this project in a good way by acknowledging and working toward the following:  

  • Acknowledging that all who tap trees and make maple syrup from Wisconsin sugarbushes are on lands of indigenous people. These lands hold great historical, spiritual and cultural significance for the sovereign tribal nations and indigenous people of this region.   
  • Recognizing and respecting maple sugaring is an indigenous lifeway, reflecting the people’s spiritual and cultural relationship with the trees and forest as relatives, not resources. Indigenous knowledge of maple sugaring was appropriated by settlers in developing the maple syrup industry without reciprocity to the Tribes.  
  • Working to build reciprocity in relationships between the Wisconsin Extension Maple Syrup Program and Tribal nations and individuals; to respect indigenous knowledge and to support Tribal maple syrup/sugaring activities. 
  • Recognizing, supporting and advocating for the sovereignty of the Tribal nations in Wisconsin and beyond.

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