A Cumberland county maple syrup producer can expand his business, with a government lease for forested Crown land in Leamington. “It makes good sense to lease land with a large amount of sugar maples available to Nova Scotia maple syrup producers,” said Natural Resources Minister Zach Churchill. “It’s a good way to generate revenue from Crown land, while helping to create jobs that grow the economy.” Kevin McCormick’s family has worked in the local forests since the late 1800s and the family business responded to a February 2013 provincial request for proposals that would demonstrate proactive use of Crown land. “This lease will help us double our operation over time, up to around 40,000 maple taps, with the potential for two or three new full-time employees,” said Mr. McCormick. Kevin McCormick Sales and Service will pay the province an annual rent of about $1,500 for the 33 hectares, which is in line with private-sector agricultural rents. The 20-year lease has a renewal option of 20 years. There are more than 70 maple producers with over 300,000 taps in Nova Scotia, producing more than 140,000 litres per year. About 90 per cent of maple trees in the province are untapped. Crown land that has not been set aside for conservation or recreation can generate provincial revenues through forestry, agriculture, wind energy and communications and utility towers.