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Estimating the value of forests for provisioning non-timber forest products to market: concepts, approaches, and case studies

  • Gregory E. Frey, James L. Chamberlain and John Paul Schmidt

Abstract

We discuss the process of estimating the ecosystem service value (ESV) for provisioning of non-timber forest products (NTFPs) to market, with a focus on the United States. NTFPs are harvested throughout the U.S. for numerous purposes, and those sold in market contribute significantly to household and local economies. While estimates of ESV can aid decision-making related to conservation and management, NTFPs have been generally neglected. We discuss challenges and approaches for prioritizing valuation, quantifying production, measuring costs and benefits, and finding data sources. Many NTFP markets are informal, and market players may have an interest in withholding information. Data about geographic and temporal distribution, production cost, quantity harvested, and price may therefore be limited. In two case studies, we explore the nuances of estimating ESV of forests for medicinal products.

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Copyright

This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution licence (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Corresponding author

Correspondence: P.O. Box 12254, Research Triangle Park, NC 27709, Email: gregory.e.frey@usda.gov; (919) 549-4025.

Footnotes

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This paper was prepared for the USDA Workshop “Applications and Potential of Ecosystem Services Valuation within USDA – Advancing the Science,” Washington, DC, April 23–24, 2019, and for consideration for publication in Agricultural and Resource Economics Review.

Footnotes

References

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Estimating the value of forests for provisioning non-timber forest products to market: concepts, approaches, and case studies

  • Gregory E. Frey, James L. Chamberlain and John Paul Schmidt

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