by Daniel Beausoleil, Forestry Project Coordinator, Mi’kmawey Forestry

Mi’kmawey Forestry is a program administered by The Confederacy of Mainland Mi’kmaq that has been developing programs that will create new opportunities to provide social, ecological, and economic opportunities within the Mainland Mi’kmaw Communities. Mi’kmawey Forestry projects will benefit Community members directly as well as share in the overall success of developing sustainable forestry management plans.

One such project in it’s early stages, is the Non-timber forest products (NTFPs) development project. NTFPs are defined as the plant and fungal resources and associated wood products, harvested from managed and unmanaged forests and/or under-utilized lands. With the exclusion of timber or other conventual wood by-products, the NTFP development project will develop a means to grow, harvest and benefit from the vast wealth of resources in our forests. Examples of NTFPs include: foods such as wild mushrooms, berries, and fiddleheads; medicinal herbs and pharmaceuticals such as ginseng, sweet grass and wintergreen. Christmas trees and other decorative greenery such as wreaths also fall into the NTFPs category as well as any other materials used in artwork or craftsmanship. This includes wood used for furniture, baskets, axe handles, snowshoes, etc. The project will also seek to develop cultural and traditional practices through the growing and harvesting of raw materials and the skills required make products.

The demand for NTFPs in the form of sus ...

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