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STOP #24

New Hampshire, NH — Sticky Situation in New Hampshire

March 14, 2006

New Hampshire's forests are exceptional for the beauty and productivity of its maple trees. In the fall, it's the maple tree that provides the most spectacular scenery - and in the early spring the maples are tapped for their famous syrup. But the maple tree produces both the visual glory and the delicious syrup under specific weather conditions. Northeast forests - and maple trees in particular - thrive because of the temperature cycles of the region. Sharply cold nights and mild days in the early autumn and early spring give rise to a kaleidoscope of color and nearly 90,000 gallons of maple syrup. Learn more at New Hampshire's Maple Weekend.

Warmer winters caused by Global Warming are threatening the habitat of the maple tree, which does not thrive in milder conditions. Scientists estimate that the Northeast's average yearly temperature could rise by about 4-5 degrees over the next few decades. The warmer climate means that the maple tree - along with the rest of America's northeast forests will be more susceptible to disease, insects and drought.

It's more serious than just dry pancakes. The loss of the maple trees would have a disastrous effect on New Hampshire's economy. Tourism would dry up along with syrup production. Thousands of jobs would be lost and a way of life would be gone forever.

One of the progressive New Hampshire companies that recognizes the threat and is doing something about it is Stonyfield Farm. Committed to saving New England's sweet legacy, Stonyfield is the world's leading organic dairy products company. They've installed a 50 kilowatt (kW) solar energy system atop their 120,000 square-foot manufacturing facility as a way to fight global warming. The solar panel array is the largest of its kind in New Hampshire.