Skip to Main Content
U.S. Forest Service
Caring for the land and serving people

United States Department of Agriculture

Home > Search > Publication Information

  1. Share via EmailShare on FacebookShare on LinkedInShare on Twitter
    Dislike this pubLike this pub


    This article uses research about non-timber forest products (NTFP) gathering in Seattle, Washington, USA to examine how people gain access to natural resources in urban environments. Our analysis focuses on gathering in three spaces: parks, yards, and public rights of way. We present a framework for conceptualizing access, and highlight cognitive mechanisms of access associated with foragers’ internal moral judgments about harvesting. Key findings are: (1) internal moral calculations about whether it is right or wrong to harvest a particular NTFP in a particular place are an important but previously unacknowledged mechanism governing resource access; and (2) these calculations may help prevent over-harvesting of NTFPs, which are common pool resources, in urban environments where social and environmental conditions lend themselves to a de facto situation of open access. Our findings suggest that voluntary codes of conduct may be the best way to manage NTFP access in cities.

    Publication Notes

    • Visit PNW's Publication Request Page to request a hard copy of this publication.
    • We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
    • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.


    Charnley, Susan; McLain, Rebecca J.; Poe, Melissa R. 2018. Natural resource access rights and wrongs: Nontimber forest products gathering in urban environments. Society & Natural Resources. 31(6): 734-750.


    Google Scholar


    Access, common pool resources, foraging, nontimber forest products, tenure, urban forestry.

    Related Search

    XML: View XML
Show More
Show Fewer
Jump to Top of Page