POACHING MAPLE SAP TREE BY TREE. This Economist article reports on thefts of maple sap in Maine from individual trees. The taps often damage the trees. If you don’t have ownership rights in a tree, you have little incentive to keep it healthy. It is thought that many of the thieves are hobbyists. I would think that a few surveillance cameras would be effective. This excellent analysis by Michael Farrell of Cornell University of the economics of the maple sugar industry suggests that there could be a good market for stolen sap. Maple syrup processors have high fixed costs so that purchasing additional sap can be attractive.

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