Strategy RC2.7: Identify opportunities for non-timber income generation from forests, including medicinal plants, forest foods, wild harvesting, agroforestry, nursery stock, and hand-crafted artisanal products.
Native plants like American ginseng, black cohosh, goldenseal, black elder, American skullcap, passionflower, slippery elm, muscadine, hawthorn berry, elderberry, and blueberry, among others, are just some of the medicinal plant assets that our region can supply in abundance. One way to support non-timber income generation from forests is to further cultivate these opportunities. One approach would be to develop a regional network of medicinal plant cultivation, value-added storage, manufacturing, and co-packing sites in Western North Carolina. These sites could be supported by community college workforce development training, while furthering collaboration between credentialed wild harvesters and participating private landholders. These activities are part of a proposed WNC Medicinal Plants Manufacturing Alliance, for which funds are currently being sought.