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Poachers in Smoky Mtn. National Park Busted (0 viewing) 
Follow Harvest Stewardship and always comply with your State Ginseng Rules and Regulations when collecting wild ginseng roots.

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TOPIC: Poachers in Smoky Mtn. National Park Busted
#10283
Rural Action Forestry (User)
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Poachers in Smoky Mtn. National Park Busted 3 Years, 4 Months ago  
http://www.nps.gov/grsm/parknews/conviction.htm

Here is a _link_ to a recent poaching case that I found this week. Not a great article, but it's news. Pretty common to see busts in the Smoky Mtn. National Park, but it seems like the poachers were actually getting penalized a little bit! At least more severe than what you normally see in a private land poaching case. They were each fined $10 per root harvested, which added up to over $5,000 and $2,000 for each person plus some pretty significant jail time. 70 + days for one guy. Seems like they are starting to get the idea that you actually have to penalize people to create a deterrent effect. They should probably bump it up to $20 per root which would make it in line with what they are fining people for poaching trophy wildlife (at least here in Ohio). Here in Ohio folks are getting fined up to $10K-$14K for poaching big bucks.

It would be nice to see some poachers digging on private lands, or from a growers property, get more fines like this. $100 and a slap on the wrist is obviously not working, at least in OH. A survey of growers done a few years back showed that over 60% of them had experienced poaching or new someone that had been poached. Just food for thought.
 
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Re:Poachers in Smoky Mtn. National Park Busted 3 Years, 2 Months ago  
Great news i wish they would catch all of them. Theirs just not enough enforcement around here where i from. Its like they don't even care.

To be honest no one knows who even enforces it. I am a Forest Ranger and get calls all the time and i would love to do something about it but its not my department. I refer them to wildlife, and just like the other day someone called me and i told them to get in touch with wildlife and they said that they already had talked with them and they said to call Forestry. Go figure, its like you can poach seng all you want here and get away with it. Someone is gonna have to do something or the seng is going to be hurt in the next couple of years, because its not getting any better.
 
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#11282
Billy (Moderator)
Billy Taylor from Bell County Ky
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Re:Poachers in Smoky Mtn. National Park Busted 3 Years, 2 Months ago  
Rural Action Forestry

Thanks for Posting this,I agree with you,and also wish that they could catch more poachers in common areas as well and on farmers lands and private lands,It would help more than any thing else to make them realise that the punisment is not worth the gamble.

Billy.



Rural Action Forestry wrote:
http://www.nps.gov/grsm/parknews/conviction.htm

Here is a _link_ to a recent poaching case that I found this week. Not a great article, but it's news. Pretty common to see busts in the Smoky Mtn. National Park, but it seems like the poachers were actually getting penalized a little bit! At least more severe than what you normally see in a private land poaching case. They were each fined $10 per root harvested, which added up to over $5,000 and $2,000 for each person plus some pretty significant jail time. 70 + days for one guy. Seems like they are starting to get the idea that you actually have to penalize people to create a deterrent effect. They should probably bump it up to $20 per root which would make it in line with what they are fining people for poaching trophy wildlife (at least here in Ohio). Here in Ohio folks are getting fined up to $10K-$14K for poaching big bucks.

It would be nice to see some poachers digging on private lands, or from a growers property, get more fines like this. $100 and a slap on the wrist is obviously not working, at least in OH. A survey of growers done a few years back showed that over 60% of them had experienced poaching or new someone that had been poached. Just food for thought.
 
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#11283
Billy (Moderator)
Billy Taylor from Bell County Ky
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Re:Poachers in Smoky Mtn. National Park Busted 3 Years, 2 Months ago  
hillbilly I am in complete agreement with you also it is sad,but it seems that there is no inforcement hardly at all.It is wonderful that our State has moved the date to Sept: 1st,,,now if we could get better inforcement our wild ginseng population could greatly increase,I also have had a few calls from others wanting to no what to do,it is sad.

Billy.


hillbilly wrote:
Great news i wish they would catch all of them. Theirs just not enough enforcement around here where i from. Its like they don't even care.

To be honest no one knows who even enforces it. I am a Forest Ranger and get calls all the time and i would love to do something about it but its not my department. I refer them to wildlife, and just like the other day someone called me and i told them to get in touch with wildlife and they said that they already had talked with them and they said to call Forestry. Go figure, its like you can poach seng all you want here and get away with it. Someone is gonna have to do something or the seng is going to be hurt in the next couple of years, because its not getting any better.
 
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Re:Poachers in Smoky Mtn. National Park Busted 3 Years, 2 Months ago  
Couldn't agree more Billy but after that phone call the other day I started trying to figure out something. Because i don't know if you and everyhone else on here remembers but those three or four hollows that i fount last year that was just unreal big ol fours everywhere and thats where my big three five prongers came from, that i talked about last year was where these fellows where poaching at. Talk about some luck for me.

But i started trying to figure out who to call. So after being bounced around for awhile i just called Anna and she informed me if it happened again just to call her and she would see that it would get investigated. But I reckon the last time they were caught the ol timer living their scared them pretty good and they have yet to return. So here in the near future i am going to start researching it a little more and see what all can and will be done.
 
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#11332
Billy (Moderator)
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Re:Poachers in Smoky Mtn. National Park Busted 3 Years, 2 Months ago  
I do remember your good finds last season very well and the excitement you had
If you learn some sure and good methods let me no about them.I would love to put a stop to some things I no about but can do nothing about.

Billy.



hillbilly wrote:
Couldn't agree more Billy but after that phone call the other day I started trying to figure out something. Because i don't know if you and everyhone else on here remembers but those three or four hollows that i fount last year that was just unreal big ol fours everywhere and thats where my big three five prongers came from, that i talked about last year was where these fellows where poaching at. Talk about some luck for me.

But i started trying to figure out who to call. So after being bounced around for awhile i just called Anna and she informed me if it happened again just to call her and she would see that it would get investigated. But I reckon the last time they were caught the ol timer living their scared them pretty good and they have yet to return. So here in the near future i am going to start researching it a little more and see what all can and will be done.
 
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Re:Poachers in Smoky Mtn. National Park Busted 3 Years, 2 Months ago  
I remember a story in The New Yorker magazine about poaching in the Smoky Mountain NP. Generators with lights to dig at night, armed protection. They used swat teams to go in to arrest. Poachers came back to make the money back from the fines. At that time the park was loaded with old plants, now I wouldn't know.
 
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Re:Poachers in Smoky Mtn. National Park Busted 3 Years, 2 Months ago  
It's an observable thing: enforcement follows regulation, which begats more regulation and still more enforcement.

One one side, we on this forum seem to like the enforcement. however on the other side we on this forum seems to want less regulation.

It's a conundrum.

For eample, here in NC, [copied from the Dept of Ag site]:

? 106202.19. Unlawful acts; penalties; enforcement.

(a) Unless the conduct is covered under some other provision of law providing greater punishment, it is unlawful:

(1) To uproot, dig, take or otherwise disturb or remove for any purpose from the lands of another, any plant on a protected plant list without a written permit from the owner which is dated and valid for no more than 180 days and which indicates the species or higher taxon of plants for which permission is granted; except that the incidental disturbance of protected plants during agricultural, forestry or development operations is not illegal so long as the plants are not collected for sale or commercial use;

(2) To sell, barter, trade, exchange, export, offer for sale, barter, trade, exchange or export or give away for any purpose including advertising or other promotional purpose any plant on a protected plant list, except as authorized according to the rules and regulations of the Board;

(3) To violate any rule of the Board promulgated under this Article;

(4) To dig ginseng on another person's land, except for the purpose of replanting, between the first day of April and the first day of September;

(5) To buy ginseng outside of a buying season as provided by the Board without obtaining the required documents from the person selling the ginseng;

(6) To buy ginseng for the purpose of resale or trade without holding a currently valid permit as a ginseng dealer;

(7) To fail to keep records as required under this Article, to refuse to make records available for inspection by the Board or its agent, or to use forms other than those provided for the current year or harvest season by the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services;

(8) To provide false information on any record or form required under this Article;

(9) To make false statements or provide false information in connection with any investigation conducted under this Article;

(10) To possess any protected plant, or part thereof, which was obtained in violation of this Article or any rule adopted hereunder; or

(11) To violate a stop sale order issued by the Board or its agent.

(a1) Any person convicted of violating this Article, or any rule of the Board adopted pursuant to this Article shall be guilty of a Class 2 misdemeanor. Each illegal movement or distribution of a protected plant shall constitute a separate violation. In addition, if any person continues to violate or further violates any provision of this Article after written notice from the Board, the court may determine that each day during which the violation continued or is repeated constitutes a separate violation subject to the foregoing penalties.

(a2) A civil penalty of not more than two thousand dollars ($2,000) may be assessed by the Board against any person guilty of violating this Article a second or subsequent time. The clear proceeds of civil penalties assessed pursuant to this subsection shall be remitted to the Civil Penalty and Forfeiture Fund in accordance with G.S. 115C457.2.

(b) The Commissioner or any employee or agent of the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services designated by the Commissioner to enforce the provisions of this Article, may enter any place within the State at all reasonable times where plant materials are being grown, transported, or offered for sale and require the presentation for inspection of all pertinent papers and records relative to the provisions of this Article, after giving notice in writing to the owner or custodian of the premises to be entered. If he refuses to consent to the entry, the Commissioner may apply to any district court judge and the judge may order, without notice, that the owner or custodian of the place permit the Commissioner to enter the place for the purposes herein stated and failure by any person to obey the order may be punished as for contempt.

(c) The Commissioner of Agriculture is authorized to apply to the superior court for, and the court shall have jurisdiction upon hearing and, for cause shown, to grant a temporary or permanent injunction restraining any person from violating any provision of G.S. 106202.19(a), regardless of whether there exists an adequate remedy at law. (1979, c. 964, s. 1; 1989, c. 508, s. 2; 1993, c. 539, s. 749;

All of this has been revised recently, as of 1/3/11, and makes one pay close attn to everything.
 
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#11514
Whitjr (User)
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Re:Poachers in Smoky Mtn. National Park Busted 3 Years, 2 Months ago  
Oh, yeah-

I have to have a dealer's permit, costing $100/year to sell my crop. However, I don't have to have a permit to plant it. I have to comply with the harvest dates/regulations. I don't have to worry about where I plant the seeds unless it's on gov't land. Asan individual, I'm required to have a dealer's permit to sell my crop, however does any partner I have [who may own the land] have to have one?

See any regulations there that are conflicting or confusing?

Like Hillbilly said, there's no clearly stated mechanism here in NC as to who to call for enforcement if I find someone who is violating the laws.
 
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