10: Management and Marketing of Nontimber Forest Products

How these activities will help you as a woodland owner:

Use this activity to determine which non-timber forest products are available seasonally on your woodland. Then learn about the management and marketing considerations for these products.

  1. Take a moment to brainstorm a list of things that you consider non-timber forest products. On this list, mark which NTFPs you can find in the spring, summer, fall, and/or winter.
  2. Assign your list of products, plus any additional that you might think of, to a categories/classification. For example, ask yourself if the NTFP is vegetation (e.g., balsam boughs), a plant structure (e.g., bark), a reproductive part (e.g. cones), an exudate (e.g., maple syrup), wildlife (e.g., deer/venison), or services (e.g., riparian buffer). As you do this also consider products and activities that your neighbors or others in the community might use or do.
  3. Use a seasonal calendar to track your interactions with various NTFPs over the course of the year. Feel free to incorporate other factors such as weather, busy periods, or competing interests for scarce resources such as time.
  4. Consider the arc of your lifetime and how NTFPs may have played a large or small role at certain points, and how these roles may have changed over time. Consider how they may continue to change for you or others in your family.
  5. Find an aerial or other map of you property or, if you know the layout and habitat well, simply draw a map. Use the map to identify known or potential locations with non-timber resources of interest.
  6. Combine your seasonal calendar (Step 3) and land map (Step 5) to create a NTFP route that incorporates the resources of interest to you. Commit to walking this route at least four times throughout the year to view the landscape through each seasonal lens and to ensure that that you have included everything. Take pictures and make notes in a journal. Note dates when you walk and observations about budding, flowering, color change, animal observances, abundance, or anything else that may catch your eye (or ear).
  7. Designate some time with your family or friends to think about NTFPs on your property to get a complete understanding of the suite of resources that are valued by your family.


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Woodland Stewardship: A Practical Guide for Midwestern Landowners, 3rd Edition Copyright © 2019 by University of Minnesota Extension is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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