Challenges and opportunities to use of non-timber forest resources: exploring first nations and non-first nations relationships and perspectives

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The community forest (CF) tenure in British Columbia has the potential to manage non-timber forest resources (NTFRs) in order to optimize economic, environmental and social benefit and to work closely with First Nations. Using grounded theory, interviews and participant observation in the Wells Gray Community Forest area and in the territory of the Simpcw First Nation, this research identifies: 1) the local NTFR sector, exploring constraints to and opportunities for NTFR use, 2) ethical modes of harvesting NTFRs based on traditional and local knowledge (TK/LK), 3) First Nations and non-First Nations perspectives on NTFRs and NTFR management, 4) factors in, and challenges to, success in managing NTFRs through the co-management theoretical framework, 5) The main conclusions are that: 1) a selection of preconditions and supporting conditions for co-management are demonstrated in the research, and 2) informal co-management agreements are a potential pre-cursor to or replacement for formal legal arrangements for management of NTFRs.
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