Advisor

Keith Hadley

Date of Award

2000

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.) in Geography

Department

Geography

Physical Description

1 online resource (86 p.)

Subjects

Medicinal plants -- Harvesting -- Oregon -- Mount Hood National Forest, Medicinal plants -- Harvesting, Mount Hood National Forest (Or.) -- Management

DOI

10.15760/etd.2242

Abstract

During the past fifteen years, non-timber or special forest products have become an important economic resource in the Pacific Northwest. These products are primarily derived from understory species and contribute approximately $200 million to the regional economy. Medicinal plants are a little researched component of the non-timber forest product industry that relies on cultivated and wildcrafted (or wild-collected) medicinal plant species. This study examines the commercial extraction of wildcrafted medicinal plants from Mount Hood National Forest. Specifically, this study documents the medicinal plant species extracted from Mount Hood National Forest, their annual yield amounts, harvesting methods, and the changes in cover of target species after harvest.

This research uses survey data obtained from employees of two herbal companies and representatives of the U.S. Forest Service to describe medicinal plant extraction and administration as it pertains to the commercial extraction of plant species from Mount Hood National Forest. Field data were also used to examine changes in plant cover for four medicinal plant species (kinnikinnick, yarrow, Oregon grape and valerian) following harvest. Field results indicate that medicinal plant cover decreased significantly in all but one harvested sampling unit. Permanent unit markers were established at all the study sites to provide opportunities for long-term monitoring of target species responses to harvest.

Eleven medicinal plant species are commonly collected for commercial purposes from Mount Hood National Forest. The general lack of regulation and enforcement of commercial medicinal plant extraction coupled with an increasing demand for wildcrafted medicinal plants warrant a need for increased collaboration between regulatory agencies, herbal companies, and the general public. Additional management and research recommendations regarding the ecological impacts of medicinal plant removal are also presented.

Persistent Identifier

http://archives.pdx.edu/ds/psu/15111

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