Source: Vermont F&W The Vermont Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation has approved three new applications for maple sugaring licenses on state lands. The sugaring sites are located in the Town of Groton on Groton State Forest, in the Town of Stowe on Mt. Mansfield State Forest, and in the Town of Mt. Holly on Okemo State Forest.In May of this year, the department announced that eight new sugaring sites were being made available on state forest and state park land to interested sugar makers. The department received a total of six applications for three of the eight sites by the July 10th deadline.A Maple Advisory Board has been established to advise the commissioner on this new program. The board is composed of department representatives, independent sugar makers, and representatives from UVM Extension, and the Vermont Forests Products Association. The board reviewed all applications received and forwarded its recommendations to department commissioner Jason Gibbs for approval. Approved applicants include Glenn Goodrich of Cabot, Lewis Coty of Stowe, and Mark Turco of Mt. Holly.“I was really impressed with the qualifications and experience of these sugar makers and look forward to working with them on this new program”, said Commissioner Gibbs. Over the coming weeks, department staff will work with these sugar makers to delineate the sugarbush and agree on how it will be accessed and managed. “We hope to get much of this work completed in the next couple of weeks so sugar makers will have ample time this fall to get the sugarbush ready for the 2010 sugaring season”, said state lands director Mike Fraysier.License agreements will be developed for each of the approved applicants outlining site-specific conditions and requirements and approved tapping guidelines. License terms will be for a five-year period with the option to renew for two additional five-year periods.License fees will include a standard $50 one-time administrative fee plus an annual fee based on the number of taps in the sugarbush. The per-tap fee will be 25 percent of the average of the previous year’s price per bulk pound of Vermont fancy grade syrup and Vermont commercial grade syrup.
The Vancouver Fire Department is piloting a new way to respond to medical calls. During the three-month trial, stations will send a sport utility vehicle staffed by a paramedic and an emergency medical technician to lower priority medical calls instead of a firetruck and full crew.Fire Chief Joe Molina collaborated with department staff and union leaders to develop the project based on recommendations from a citizen committee. Molina believes keeping fire engines available for life-threatening emergencies and fires will improve response times.The two new rescue SUVs will be in service 10 hours a day, four days a week during peak hours throughout the city and Fire District 5.The new program begins 1 p.m. Monday at Fire Station 5, 7110 N.E. 63rd St.