Special forest products in context: gatherers and gathering in the Eastern United States
This report provides an introduction to the people who gather special forest products (SFPs) in the eastern United States, the role these resources play in their lives, and implications for management on national forest lands, particularly in relation to the Pilot Program on Forest Botanicals (P. L. 106-113, ? 339(a)). SFPs encompass a wide variety of products and provide important livelihood support through both market and nonmarket economic values. In addition, many gatherers value social dimensions of SFPs outside the economic realm. Gatherers are a diverse group (men and women, varied ethnic and cultural backgrounds), who often draw on substantial knowledge to harvest SFPs. Many are concerned about conservation and the sustainability of harvesting practices. Contextual factors affecting SFP activities include land management regimes and social conditions, such as household economies and life stage, at scales that range from macro-level markets (national, international) to micro-level household and individual use.