Non-timber forest products (NTFPs) have been harvested by humans for at least several thousand years, both for subsistence and trade (Ticktin 2004). In Canada, NTFPs have been used for food, medicine, clothing, and shelter among First Nations and other rural communities (Duchesne and Zasada 2000). The recent international and national successes in NTFPs, as an industry, may be a means to improve the quality of life and reduce poverty in rural B.C. and Canada (De Geus 1995; Brubaker 1999; Mohammed 1999). NTFPs include a wide range of products derived from forests, such as conifer boughs, wild rice, wild berries, maple sap products, wild mushrooms, and wild medicinal herbs, with 200 types of NTFPs in B.C. that are recognized (De Geus 1995; Mohammed 1999). To date, there is a poor understanding of the specific biology of many NTFPs and so it is difficult to predict their seasonal abundance and location in many forest ecosystems (Duchesne and Zasada 2000). This paucity of knowledge is particularly true with respect to to NTFPs and timber management. Managed second-growth forests dominate the landscape in B.C. and will increase with time. Clearly, integration of the NTFP industry with silviculture is essential if we hope to enhance current and future harvests of NTFPs in an economically and ecologically sustainable manner. Innovative strategies are much-needed if we are to truly integrate timber and NTFPs on the same landbase (Higgins 1999). There is no information on the response of stand productivity and NTFPs to various densities and fertilization regimes at real-world (operational) scales. Although growth and yield information is available from research-scale plots, these data do not provide information on response of understory vegetation and stand structure (source of NTFPs). Thinning and fertilization are tools that could dramatically alter stand structure and the rate and direction of ecological succession, and hence diversification of thinning prescriptions could have profound implications for wood fibre and NTFPs (e.g., berry crops, medicinal plants, herbs, and mushrooms).
Sullivan, Thomas P.. 2007. Incremental silviculture of Lodgepole Pine and non-timber forest products (NTFPs). Forest Investment Account (FIA) - Forest Science Program. Forest Investment Account Report. FIA2007MR290