Economics of nontimber forest products.This article is part of a larger document. View the larger document here.
Nontimber forest products (NTFPs) encompass a broad variety of edible, woodbased, decorative, and medicinal goods derived from various plant and fungus parts (Chamberlain et al. 1998). NTFPs provide signifcant economic benefts to users in the United States; however, many of these values have not been systematically researched or quantifed (Alexander et al. 2001). Interest in assessing the economic value, impact, and potential of NTFPs surged in the 1990s and early 2000s probably in part because of controversies over the impact of timber harvest on endangered species and other conservation priorities; NTFPs seemed like a way to generate income and maintain standing forests (Robbins et al. 2008). Research in the United States and transferable knowledge from other countries provide an important baseline of evidence. However, these diverse studies typically address individual species at a specifc location at a single point in time. They may have divergent or even contradictory fndings. Furthermore, there are very few data consistently collected over time regarding NTFP harvest, trade, and consumption. This chapter is an attempt to synthesize the knowledge of the economics of NTFPs, but when necessary we utilize individual studies or data points from specifc regions, which while not generalizable to the Nation as a whole, can be seen as illustrative or suggestive.