Nontimber forest products represent an important aspect of sustainable economic growth, conservation, and resource management. This edition of The Overstory provides a brief introduction to the subject of nontimber forest products (NTFPs). A resource section with books, periodicals, and web links about NTFPs is included for further information.
What Are Nontimber Forest Products?
Nontimber forest products (NTFPs) refers to a wide array of economic or subsistence materials that come from forests, excluding timber. Similar terms include "nonwood," "minor," "secondary," and "special" or "specialty" forest products.
There are many kinds of animal and plant resources that are derived from forests, including fruits, nuts, mushrooms, essential oils, florals, medicinal products, herbs and spices, dyes, resins, and animal products such as honey and wild game. These products are often gathered from natural forests. Others may be produced with varying degrees of cultivation and domestication, either within a forest ecosystem or as part of a planted forest system such as an agroforestry or forestry project.