Date of Award


Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Forestry (MS)

College, School or Department Name

School of Forest Resources and Environmental Science


Blair D Orr


The people of the southwestern Rhodope Mountains of Bulgaria live in small, mountainous villages and rural areas. They rely on berries, herbs, and mushrooms provided by the forest and maintain a lifestyle and culture of gathering them. This study determined the economic and landscape concentration of Non-Timber Forest Products (NTFPs) and how this has changed in the past twenty years in the region of Garmen. The objective was to gauge the cultural and economic significance of NTFPs in the lives of the people who live there. Data was collected using informal, open-ended interviews and through participant observation. Results indicate that ethnicity influence how resources are utilized. Roma people collect mushrooms for income generation; Orthodox Bulgarians gather herbs, berries, and mushrooms for medicinal purposes, to supplement their diets, and to carry on traditions. Bulgarian Muslims collect for a combination of the aforementioned reasons. Changes that occur in the forests affect each of the ethnic groups in different ways and forest management practices should include people’s knowledge and uses of NTFPs.