Non timber forest products

Don Staples dstaples at livingston.net
Thu Feb 6 14:46:57 EST 1997


Jamie Simpson wrote:
> 

> 
> And if you look deeper into the biological system we are "managing"
> there are many components that we have yet to discover, let alone
> understand.  Whereas taxol comes from a tree, previously thought to be a
> weed species, there are an abundance of critters living in the forest,
> and under it.  Some of which may hold useful and profitable
> commodities.  There is great debate as to how to manage old growth
> forests.  One of the unknowns is that we do not yet understand how
> fragmented forests are connected at the different trophic levels.  I'd
> be kicking my ass if I found out I had destroyed a part of the ecosystem
> that held the cure for *insert favorite disease here*.  There are
> inherent dangers in managing for short term profit alone (observe the
> North American automotive industry).  While we cannot predict future
> demands or discoveries, we can allow for a variety of future
> opportunities.

Indeed, yet, even in the research of these bio-active extracts there was 
found to be different levels of the compounds from different ages of the 
source material.  I beleave the natural "asperin" obtained from Salix is 
more potent and in higher parts per million in new stems than in the old 
stems.

Even further, I don't beleave that there has been a great deal of 
research into the uses of plant materials by native Americans, unless by 
local greenies and drop out hippie types.  There is a mass of evidence 
that points to compounds from plants that have been set aside or over 
looked due to their archaic nature.  

Sadly, it is a by product of long term forest management that is 
overlooked.



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