Non-Timber Forest Product Resources

Your forest is bursting with value beyond the trees!

Our Northwest forests are home to an abundance of fruits, floral greens, mushrooms, nuts, seeds, and other natural materials. Many people gather these gifts of the forest for personal use and enjoyment.

Non-timber forest products, commonly referred to as NTFPs, can be a creative byproduct of stewardship activities – such as limbing up trees or clearing a trail, intentionally cultivated, or grow abundantly all on their own. NTFPs can provide supplemental income or augment household resources. (And frankly, we think they’re also just plain cool.)

 

What are Non-Timber Forest Products?

A working definition of non-timber forest products broadly includes any forest products or services aside from commercially harvested timber  that have potential personal or commercial value. 

NTFPs range from foraged berries and mushrooms, to holiday wreaths and essential oils, to firewood and agricultural soil amendments, and on and on. 

Sometimes commercial services like tourism are considered NTFPs. Here are some examples of NTFPs harvested, used, and sold throughout the Pacific Northwest, and resources to help forest owners cultivate NTFPs in their own woodlands. 

Floral greens

Floral greens are one of the fastest-growing non-timber forest products categories in the Pacific Northwest. Salal, huckleberry, and sword fern are beautiful additions to bouquets, and usefully have a long shelf-life when refrigerated.

Secondary wood products

Firewood, small poles, and biochar are creative uses of byproducts that come out of restoration treatments and other management activities. Clearing some downed wood (remember it’s also important wildlife habitat and food for decomposers) or fully using the cull logs and slash materials left at the landing after a commercial harvest are ways to turn “nothing into something”. 

Firewood & small poles

Biochar

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Resources for San Juan County Forest Owners

Northwest Natural Resource Group and our partners have hosted ecological forestry workshops in the San Juan Islands since 2012. These resources are specifically for San Juan County forest owners who are interested in learning techniques to reduce fire risk, increase forest value, manage timber sales, market forest products, and improve the ecological and economic health of island forests.

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New Year’s Resolutions for Forest Owners

These days, typical New Year resolutions include exercising more and making time to be outside with nature. It’s also common for forest owners to have a “been meaning to do” list for their land. Thus, forest owners are especially fortunate as they can accomplish three goals in one effort by getting out for a walk in their woods to spend time in nature and observe their forest. All the better that they can prioritize forest stewardship activities for the new year.

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