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Sustainable Forest Management for Nontimber Products

1
U.S. Forest Service, Southern Research Station, 1710 Research Center Drive, Blacksburg, VA 24060, USA
2
Department of Biology, Radford University, Radford, VA 24142, USA
3
U.S. Forest Service, Southern Research Station, 200 W.T. Weaver Blvd., Asheville, NC 28804, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2019, 11(9), 2670; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11092670
Received: 9 April 2019 / Revised: 29 April 2019 / Accepted: 4 May 2019 / Published: 10 May 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Forest Management)
Many of the plants and fungi that are harvested for nontimber products (e.g., foods, medicines, crafts) are critical to healthy forest ecosystems. These products also are essential to rural societies, contributing to the material and nonmaterial composition of communities and cultures. Product sales make important contributions at all economic scales, from household to national economies. Nontimber forest products (NTFPs) have been harvested for generations, sometimes centuries, yet they are seldom integrated into forest management. Few methods exist for inventory and assessment, and there is little evidence that harvests are sustainable. This article examines three elements of sustainable forest management for nontimber products: sociocultural, economic, and ecological, and elaborates with detailed examples of edible and medicinal species from United States (U.S.) forests. We synthesize the state of knowledge and emerging issues, and identify research priorities that are needed to advance sustainable management of NTFPs in the United States. Despite their social, economic, and ecological values, many of these species and resources are threatened by the overuse and lack of management and market integration. Sustainable management for nontimber products is attainable, but much research and development is needed to ensure the long-term sustainability of these resources and their cultural values, and to realize their economic potentials. View Full-Text
Keywords: Actaea racemosa; Allium tricoccum; edible plants; forest inventory; local and traditional ecological knowledge; medicinal herbs; Panax quinquefolius; understory herbaceous layer; wild-harvesting Actaea racemosa; Allium tricoccum; edible plants; forest inventory; local and traditional ecological knowledge; medicinal herbs; Panax quinquefolius; understory herbaceous layer; wild-harvesting
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Chamberlain, J.; Small, C.; Baumflek, M. Sustainable Forest Management for Nontimber Products. Sustainability 2019, 11, 2670.

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