Commissioner Walt Whitcomb traveled to Skowhegan today to attend the Fifth Annual MAPLEMANIA event hosted by the Maine Maple Producers Association. The Commissioner used the event, which began Thursday night and continues to Saturday (June 13), to highlight department and administration support for the continued growth of Maine’s maple industry.

Governor Paul R. LePage, who highlighted the ceremonial start of the 2015 maple season in March with the Annual Blaine House Tree Tapping event, sent his best wishes to Maine Maple Producers.

“I thank Maine’s Maple Producers for their efforts to grow the industry and for the quality products they produce around the world,” said Governor LePage. “Maine’s maple industry contributes an estimated $27.7 million directly to the Maine economy, has an estimated annual statewide economic contribution (including multiplier effects) of $48.7 million in output, 805 full- and part-time jobs and $25.1 million in labor income. Most importantly, this industry has a huge potential for additional job creation.”

In his remarks, Commissioner Whitcomb highlighted administration support for the growth of Maine’s maple industry. “Working with the Maine Maple Producers (417 are licensed by the Department), we have increased visibility and support for Maine’s maple industry through a number of events and initiatives,” said Whitcomb. “These include: Governor LePage’s Annual Blaine House Tree Tapping; Maine Maple Sunday (4th Sunday of every March); expanded access to tap leases on public lands (nearly 100,000) and promotional support through Get Real Get Maine. It is important to note that without maple trees, Maine’s world-renowned fall foliage season would not exist.”