Strafford Maple Syrup Property Permanently Conserved

by Tig Tillinghast

For the past few years, we’ve come to be friends with Sue Baker, the woman who owns the sugarbush we rent in strafford for making maple syrup. We’ve built up that maple syrup business from the 700 taps her late husband sugared up to about 2,000 today. All along, we’ve been working with her to suss out how to best permanently preserve this working maple syrup operation and amazing wildlife habitat. Last week, it all finally came to pass, as she signed a conservation easement with the Upper Valley Land Trust. The 212 acre lot will now permanently serve Strafford and Thetford Vermont as a diverse set of habitats and forested spaces.

sugarbush-christmas-tree

Border Collie Fetching Sue's Xmas Tree Just Prior to Easement

The easement also included a good deal of flexibility for making maple syrup or other serious agricultural pursuits on the property, which means that over generations, a wider population can own and steward this property, allowing it to pay for itself in a sustainable fashion. We feel very, very priviledged to be the next couple to help protect the property. Working a piece of land like this for maple syrup quickly allows it to work into your blood. We are all lucky that in Vermont there are many Sue Bakers out there keeping the state green.