The Fed and NTFP

dwheeler at dwheeler at
Tue Feb 17 11:41:30 EST 1998

In article <19980217005001.TAA24803 at>,
  jostnix at (Jostnix) wrote:
> Agroforestry might need to read this:
> <<[Please help get the word out on this opportunity for public input and
> forward appropriately]
> On February 25, 1998 Senator Larry Craig (Idaho) is sponsoring and chairing
> a Forests and Public Land Management' Subcommittee oversight hearing on the
> use of non-timber forest products (NTFP) or "Specialty Forest Products" from
> national forests. Some examples of NTFPs include ferns, moss, beargrass,
> wild mushrooms and truffles, botanicals, cones, roots, and berries. Some
> definitions also include insects, fauna and minerals.  The meeting will be
> held in the Senate Dirksen Building, Room 366 in Washington, DC. The public
> is welcome to attend the hearing. There may still be room to testify and if
> you have an interest you should contact Ms. Brackett at Senator Craig's
> office immediately at - 202-224-4604 (phone) or 202-224-4604 (phone).
> Mailing address - 313 Hart Senate Office Building, Washington, D.C. 20510.
> You may also mail comments or fax statements to 202-228-1062 (fax).
> International comments are welcome.
> Members of the Forests and Public Land Subcommittee
> Craig (ID)   Dorgan (ND)   Burns (MT)   Graham (FL)   Domenici (NM)   Wyden
> (OR)  Thomas (WY)   Johnson (SD)   Kyl (AZ)   Landrieu (LA)   Smith (OR)
> Bumpers (AR) Murkowski (AK)

The wild mushroom harvest in Oregon is largely responsible for the lack of
out-of-work loggers from mills that have shut down. This industry is measured
in millions of $, and is, for the most part, unregulated. Ironically, it is
also an industry traditionally based on theft. Then again, so is...

Example: During a recent year, the cost of a daily permit to harvest matsutake
was $250 for a commercial picker. If you could get one. The cost for a
citation for picking matsutake without a permit was: $250. Guess what? A lot
of commercial pickers didn't bother with the permit. If they got caught, they
happily payed for the ticket. If they didn't get caught, they were $250 per
day richer.

But this is not limited to just mushrooms. In "Dancing With An Elephant",
William E. Schlosser of the University of Idaho Cooperative Extension System
said that:

"Schlosser et al. (1991) conducted an initial study of the floral greens and
Christmas ornamentals segments of this industry. They found that the two
segments combined generated an estimated $128.5 million in product sales at
the wholesale level during 1989. ... They also found that [floral greens and
Christmas ornamentals] employed over 10,000 full-time and part-time people
during 1989."

The market for NTFP's has increased rapidly since.

I haven't seen this group address these other NTFP yet, and wonder how
important this emerging industry is the rest of the country.

People interested in reading more about this, should obtain Dancing With An
Elephant, Proceedings: The Business and Science of Special Forest Products,
available from Western Forestry and Conservation Association, 4033 SW Canyon
Road, Portland, OR 97221 (503) 226-4562, fax: (503) 226-2515. It is the
written discussion of a NTFP panel in 1994 at Hillsboro, Oregon. As I recall,
more than 300 people attended the conference and exposition.

Since fungi have become especially lucrative since their humble beginnings
about 1983, it is now a multi-million dollar industry. Mushroom pickers
outnumber deer hunters in the Cascade Mountains.

Semis taking fir and pine cones to the floral market? Financial figures for
boughs for Christmas wreaths; extraction of Oregon grape root for medicinal
and herbal markets; fern fronds for floral; Evergreen huckleberry for floral;
Salal for floral; extraction of native plants for nursery stock etc. Here's
_the_ source.

For forest managers that haven't heard of these market commodities, maybe it's
time to look into them.

Daniel B. Wheeler

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