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    Author(s): Nan C. Vance; Jane Thomas
    Date: 1997
    Source: Gen. Tech. Rep. WO-GTR-063. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service
    Publication Series: Miscellaneous Publication
    PDF: Download Publication  (3.0 MB)


    Although North American forests traditionally have been viewed as a source of wood and paper,a variety of profitable products are being discovered that come not only from trees, but from nonwoody plants, lichens, fungi, algae, and microorganisms. The northern temperate forests’ abundant biotic resources are being transformed into medicinals, botanicals, decoratives, natural foods, and a host of other novel and useful products. These products are referred to as secondary, specialty, special, or nontimber forest products. Consumer forces, social climate, expanding global markets, and an increase in entrepreneurialism are contributing to a new interest in developing these products as a viable economic option. Species diversity, a biological attribute that contributes to the ecological stability of forests, takes on an economic value to those sourcing or “biodiversity prospecting” for natural products. Consideration should be given to how this diversity might contribute to stabilizing economies, particularly of communities that have a vital relationship with forests. A totally integrated model of ecosystem management or of sustainable forestry would include this kind of interaction. The Sustainable Forestry Partnership and the College of Forestry at Oregon State University along with the Pacific Northwest Research Station, and funded in part by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, presented a seminar series at Oregon State University, Corvallis, Oregon, in the fall of 1995. The intent of the seminar series, "Special Forest Products—Biodiversity Meets the Marketplace," was to stimulate new and continuing dialogue concerning future sustainability of forest resources as they evolve along with other societal and economic trends into the 21st century. This proceedings is an outcome of the seminars given by 11 experts who, with first-hand knowledge, offered new creative approaches for developing, managing, and conserving nontimber forest resources.

    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.


    Vance, Nan C.; Thomas, Jane, eds. 1997. Special forest products: biodiversity meets the marketplace. Gen. Tech. Rep. WO-GTR-063. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service


    Special forest products, nontimber forest products, biodiversity, medicinal plants, CITES, sustainable forestry, forest communities, forest management, American Indians, forest plants, mushrooms

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