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    Author(s): Bettina von Hagen; Roger D. Fight
    Date: 1999
    Source: Gen. Tech. Rep. PNW-GTR-473. Portland, OR: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station. 18 p
    Publication Series: General Technical Report (GTR)
    Station: Pacific Northwest Research Station
    PDF: Download Publication  (121 KB)


    Declines in timber harvests on public lands and new market opportunities have rekindled an interest in nontimber forest products. Such products as edible mushrooms, medicinal plants, and floral and holiday greens provide alternative sources of revenue and employment for rural communities. This paper describes and analyzes the contribution of the nontimber forest product industries in the Pacific Northwest from economic, social, and ecological perspectives. We conclude that promises of replacement for declining timber harvests has been largely unfulfilled: the nontimber forest product industries are seasonal, cyclical, and competitive, with generally low returns to harvesters. On the other hand, harvesting of nontimber forest products provides opportunities to those with the fewest options: recent immigrant groups and residents of economically distressed communities. The current economic contribution of nontimber forest products, however, may be considerably less than their future potential under management regimes that emphasize both timber and nontimber products. Forest management systems that emphasize a variety of forest products and services are generally higher in diversity, habitat value, recreation value, and aesthetic appeal.

    Publication Notes

    • Visit PNW's Publication Request Page to request a hard copy of this publication.
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    • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.


    von Hagen, Bettina; Fight, Roger D. 1999. Opportunities for conservation-based development of nontimber forest products in the Pacific Northwest. Gen. Tech. Rep. PNW-GTR-473. Portland, OR: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station. 18 p


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    Nontimber forest products, special forest products, community development, employment, income

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