Managing the "other" forest: collecting and protecting nontimber forest productsAuthor(s): Sally Duncan
Source: Science Findings. Portland, OR: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station. January (50): 1-5
Publication Series: Science Findings
Station: Pacific Northwest Research Station
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DescriptionWild harvest of nontimber forest products (NTFP) contributes to an international commercial trade in plant materialthought to be thousands of tons of raw product valued at billions of dollars. From 1991 through 1998, international trade in pharmaceutical plants alone was valued at over $1 billion, with the United States second only to China in value of export (United Nations Statistics Division, New York).
Perceptions of economic opportunity and plentiful resources have encouraged people to collect wild plants with relatively little inventory, monitoring, or effective oversight. When plant species are threatened by careless and destructive harvesting techniques, loss of habitat, and declines in populations and genetic diversity, efforts to sustain biodiversity are severely challenged.
Yet Forest Service land managers are charged with the task of making available to the public the uses and benefits of the forest while maintaining biological diversity, as well as forest health. Research needs to develop not only comprehensive knowledge on species useful to humans but also to create information that can be used to prevent their being at risk and to identify and protect those species that may already be at risk.
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CitationDuncan, Sally. 2003. Managing the "other" forest: collecting and protecting nontimber forest products. Science Findings. Portland, OR: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station. January (50): 1-5
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