Marketing of non-timber forest products (NTFPs) is a growth industry in the Pacific Northwest of the USA. This paper identified a series of factors that could undermine sustainability of NTFP production, for example boom-and-bust cycles in markets and control by large urban-based companies, then described attempts in one area to avoid these pitfalls. Here researchers were examining site-specific ecological processes. Communications within and between local NTFP collectors and the Forest Service were being consciously improved. Two co-operatives of collectors were working to secure the best markets for their products, to distribute information on best practice and to investigate possibilities for value-added processing and certification of NTFPs.