This research was funded by U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station Joint Venture Agreements PNW 10 JV 11260489-024 and PNW 09 JV 11261975–056, and Contracts AG-046W-P-12-0054 and AG-046W-P-12-0061. The Institute for Culture and Ecology provided in-kind funding support.
Society and Natural Resources
Human ecology, Forest ecology, Urban forest canopy
This article uses research about non-timber forest products (NTFP) gathering in Seattle, Washington, USA to examine how people gain access to natural resources in urban environments. Our analysis focuses on gathering in three spaces: parks, yards, and public rights of way. We present a framework for conceptualizing access, and highlight cognitive mechanisms of access associated with foragers’ internal moral judgments about harvesting. Key findings are: (1) internal moral calculations about whether it is right or wrong to harvest a particular NTFP in a particular place are an important but previously unacknowledged mechanism governing resource access; and (2) these calculations may help prevent over-harvesting of NTFPs, which are common pool resources, in urban environments where social and environmental conditions lend themselves to a de facto situation of open access. Our findings suggest that voluntary codes of conduct may be the best way to manage NTFP access in cities.
Charnley, S., McLain, R. J., & Poe, M. R. (2018). Natural Resource Access Rights and Wrongs: Nontimber Forest Products Gathering in Urban Environments. Society & Natural Resources, 1-17.