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Nontimber Forest Products in the United States

Nontimber Forest Products in the United States
by Eric T. Jones, Rebecca J. McLain, and James F. Weigand
University Press of Kansas, 2002

While it may be hard to see the forest for the trees, especially in terms of their commercial interest, this book provides convincing proof that much more than the trees are of value as products in almost any forest. From wild mushrooms, honey and maple sugar to decorative and medicinal plants, the harvests of foragers are increasing in volume and value while those of lumberjacks are in decline.

"Within the past ten years, people have increasingly recognized nontimber forest products for the important cultural, subsistence, and market value that they add to rural forests and individual households worldwide," writes Paul Jahnige of Community Resources in Baltimore, Maryland, in the introduction to his case study on the foraging that occurs in urban forests.

"Nearly all ethnic groups around the world rely on NTFP (Nontimber Forest Products) for household income, food, medicine, construction supplies, and materials for decorative and ceremonial purposes."

As the first national overview of NTFP policy and management in the U.S., this collection of research papers, studies and discussions includes a wide varieties of disciplines, from economics and law to mycology and anthropology, in an effort to to present a cohesive picture of the current and potential role of nontimber products. It details dozens of products, describes the people who harvest them, and explains what must be done to ensure access.

Divided into four major sections, the contributed papers cover the historical uses of nontimber forest products, the importance of those products in current trade and commerce, tenure issues on federally managed lands and current federal policies pertaining to NTFPs.

This multifaceted and thorough study of nontimber forest products not only defines the field for further research, it also helps point out the need for policy and management decisions that will protect the future of the nation's forests while at the same time ensuring the use of more than just the trees.

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Nontimber Forest Products in the United States

Nontraditional Forest Products:
Pacific Northwest


Bear Grass
Western juniper
Incense cedar
Christmas trees
Hybrid poplar
Noble fir (boughs)

Matsutake (pine mushrooms)
King Stropharia

Food: Nuts, Fruit
Wasabe (horseradish)

Herbal Medicinals
Devil's club
Pacific yew

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