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Opportunities for Enhancing Nontimber Forest Products Management in the United States

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Abstract:

This article addresses aspects of nontimber forest products (NTFPs) management in the United States. Results from a thematic synthesis of literature germane to harvesters and forest managers indicate that many NTFPs have considerable markets but most are inadequately monitored, economically underregulated, and ecologically poorly understood. The people who harvest wild-grown NTFPs are often referred to as wildcrafters. Literature suggests that wildcrafters have historically been marginalized and are often reticent to share information or to participate in government-led initiatives. Additionally, forest managers and wildcrafters often are unable or unwilling to work together. Social networking has been suggested as a way to improve collaboration between the two stakeholders. Some examples of successful networks exist, but norms and priorities may inhibit greater participation. Asynchronous communication via the Internet and other wireless technology could improve the situation. Developing systematic inventory systems, designing NTFP output reporting protocols, advancing forest farming, and improving access to information on NTFP markets, policies, and practices may also be useful. The need for improvement on all fronts is increasingly relevant because of growing demand for NTFPs.

Keywords: NTFPs; forest farming; forest inventory; forest management; wildcrafting

Document Type: Review Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5849/jof.10-106

Publication date: January 1, 2013

More about this publication?
  • The Journal of Forestry is the most widely circulated scholarly forestry journal in the world. In print since 1902, the Journal has received several national awards for excellence. The mission of the Journal of Forestry is to advance the profession of forestry by keeping forest management professionals informed about significant developments and ideas in the many facets of forestry: economics, education and communication, entomology and pathology, fire, forest ecology, geospatial technologies, history, international forestry, measurements, policy, recreation, silviculture, social sciences, soils and hydrology, urban and community forestry, utilization and engineering, and wildlife management. The Journal is published bimonthly: January, March, May, July, September, and November.
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