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TOPIC: No Ginseng season for me and others in NC

No Ginseng season for me and others in NC 4 years 2 months ago #23264

Officials with the U.S. Forest Service, concerned with the reduction in wild ginseng, will limit the harvesting of wild ginseng in Nantahala and Pisgah National Forest. The following changes are set to take place this year: • The number of permits issued will be reduced to 136 annual permits, a 75 percent reduction of permits from recent years. • Permits will be issued through a lottery system (selected randomly) by each district office. Persons may submit their names at more than one district office. • The permitted harvest season will be reduced to 2 weeks from 4 weeks. Harvesting will be allowed Sept. 1-15 starting in 2013. Those requesting a permit must call or visit the district office and submit their name and address by July 15. Requests by email will not be accepted. Written notification will be mailed to applicants selected by lottery before Aug. 15. District offices will issue permits Aug. 20 – Sept. 1 to selected applicants. In addition to reducing the legal harvest of wild ginseng, the Forest Service plans to increase law enforcement efforts to reduce poaching. Forestry officials say they’ve noticed dramatic declines of wild ginseng populations over the past decade that suggest harvest levels are no longer sustainable. They say limiting the harvest will help ensure the plant’s future sustainability is protected - See more at: 1050wfsc.com/fewer-ginseng-permits-to-be...sthash.ArBaRSYE.dpuf

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Re:No Ginseng season for me and others in NC 4 years 2 months ago #23265

I was counting on this seasons yield financially. Usually I was hunting seng for the love of it and this year I was depending on it. Guess I will be sitting this one out.

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Re:No Ginseng season for me and others in NC 4 years 2 months ago #23357

Sorry to hear about your Ginseng season for the National Forests in North Carolina but we will have it worse here in East Tennessee! They are only going to allow 40 permits total for the whole Cherokee National Forest (20 for the North Cherokee and 20 for the South Cherokee which includes Tellico and the Ocoee areas). There will only be one area open per unit (one for the North Cherokee and one for the South Cherokee), it will rotate to another unit next year while the previous unit will be closed to harvesting for 5 years. Harvesting will only be allowed from September 16th through September 30th, only 25 roots can be taken and only one permit allowed per person. Anyone interested, has to submit a letter to the U.S. Forestry Office in Cleveland, TN between August 19th and August 30th, then names will drawn as in a lottery. The persons chosen will be notified the week of September 2nd and can then purchase a permit beginning September 9th through the end of the season (September 16th through September 30th).

I will more than likely apply and if selected, I will purchase a permit but only if I can get the section that I have already scouted. If this happens, I will have to make sure to harvest all 25 roots in one day to make it worthwhile. Otherwise, I will go in the hole as it is a 112 mile round trip for me to the section and back home.

While the NF may think that this is going save wild Ginseng or they have another ulterior motive, they are seriously wrong! I am sure that there already have been many Ginseng poachers taking Ginseng from the National Forest ever since it starting coming up and now with this proclamation, they will be out in full force, digging everything they can dig. Maybe they will catch a few of them but the ones that they don't catch, will do the most damage to the remaining wild Ginseng.


Frank

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Re:No Ginseng season for me and others in NC 4 years 2 months ago #23362

Looks like the Feds are making a move. Honest seng digging in national forest is gonna be a thing of the past. Poachers won't stop long enough to plant the berries. Just long enough to harvest the root and get out of there.

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Re:No Ginseng season for me and others in NC 4 years 2 months ago #23364

With the new NC laws and law enforcement taking a more aggressive stance... IMHO this is both good and bad.

I truely have difficulty to see an ethical 'sang hunter affected negatively. Really. I wouldn't wish this on anyone.

However, it would appear [on the surface] that the law enforcement folks now have a more aggressive posture, which should go some distance to protect those of us that are planting on private land, or public.

'Course, that's if the already streched-too-tight Rangers and NCWC officer-types can get to it. It's my understanding that these folks are already have difficulty patrolling everything.

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Re:No Ginseng season for me and others in NC 4 years 2 months ago #23367

Whitjr wrote:

With the new NC laws and law enforcement taking a more aggressive stance... IMHO this is both good and bad.

I truely have difficulty to see an ethical 'sang hunter affected negatively. Really. I wouldn't wish this on anyone.

However, it would appear [on the surface] that the law enforcement folks now have a more aggressive posture, which should go some distance to protect those of us that are planting on private land, or public.

'Course, that's if the already streched-too-tight Rangers and NCWC officer-types can get to it. It's my understanding that these folks are already have difficulty patrolling everything.


Good luck with that, although the NF folks in North Carolina may be better staffed and willing to go out! However, here in Tennessee, I have only seen one NF truck from the Greeneville, TN office in 17 years in the area where I Deer and Ginseng hunt and I have spent a lot of time in this location. I did see a NF truck from NC come through a few years back but they were probably on their way home from a meeting with the Greeneville NF folks.

I talked to the Game Warden for that area and he said that he and the NF folks were going to be doing a lot more Law Enforcement for that area this year as they have a new person heading up that end at the Greeneville office. Well, I will wait and see!

Frank

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Re:No Ginseng season for me and others in NC 4 years 2 months ago #23369

Frank- you are right. I'm not holding my breath for it.

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Re:No Ginseng season for me and others in NC 4 years 2 months ago #23371

Here is the text of the new NC permit statement:

BTW, I really don't think the amount of permits [reduced by 75% with this action] is a fair reduction, and I wonder how the forest service arrived at that figure.

I'd love to see KYJabber weigh in on this... it would be interesting to hear her poin of view.

=====================================

Strict wild ginseng harvesting in the state’s largest national forests.

The amount of ginseng allowed to be harvested in Nantahala and Pisgah national forests this September will be re-duced by 75 percent, and the season shortened to two weeks from four, said Kristin Bail, forest supervisor of the U.S. Forest Service in North Carolina.

District rangers also will now be allowed to limit ginseng harvests to certain areas.
“Dramatic declines of wild ginseng populations over the past decade suggest previous harvest levels are no longer sustainable,” Bail said in a statement. “It is in everyone’s best interest to further limit the amount of the harvest to help ensure the plant’s future sustainability is protected.”

Visitors must obtain a permit to collect wild ginseng during the designated harvest season. The number allowed this year, which will be obtained through a lottery, is 136 permits divided across the six Forest Service districts.

“The 136 permits was based on a three-year average of permits issued, and 25 percent of that average,” said Stevin (Continued on page 38)

By Karen Chávez—Asheville Citizen Times:
Forest Service to limit wild ginseng harvests
Dramatic loss of plant cited as reason for rules...

Four-prong ginseng plant with berries. Ginseng harvesting on the Pisgah and Nantahala national forests will be severely restricted this year due to declining wild plant populations. / Special to the Citizen-Times
38
For more information about harvesting ginseng in Nantahala and Pisgah National Forests or for a list of dis-trict offices, visit www.fs.usda.gov/nfsnc or call the supervisor’s office in Asheville at 257-4200.

Westcott, Forest Service spokesman. “We lowered the number of permits by 75 percent and also reduced the harvest season by half.” The season will now be Sept. 1-15, instead of the entire month of September. Westcott said the se-vere decline in wild ginseng plants is probably due to a variety of factors, the most prevalent being poaching, or steal-ing plants.
Removing any plant or its parts from national forest land without a permit or outside the legal harvest season is considered theft. Ginseng roots can fetch more than $500 a pound in East Asia, where they are prized for their medici-nal properties.

On average, 12 people are cited each year for ginseng poaching in Nantahala and Pisgah national forests, Westcott said. The forests cover a million acres in Western North Carolina. Penalties for plant poaching may include a fine up to $5,000 or a six-month sentence in federal prison, or both.
The Forest Service plans to increase law enforcement efforts to reduce poaching.
Forest Service botanist Gary Kauffman said poaching occurs when people take more than their permit allows, take plants not allowed to be harvested, or harvest them outside the legal harvest season. Permits allow for harvesting of 1-3 wet pounds, at $40 per pound, of wild ginseng.

Kauffman said the Forest Service maintains ginseng plots to track the plants over time. A plot harvested in 2003 has still not regenerated, Kauffman said. “Harvesting can be done every year, and that’s a potentially large impact over time,” he said. “You really should be going to a plot only once every five years. Ginseng harvesters want the roots — that’s why harvesting is so much more detrimental, because you’re essentially killing the plant.”

Permits state that only mature wild ginseng plants — those with three or more leaves — may be harvested, and permit holders must plant seeds from harvested plants near the site of removal.

“The older plants produce more berries. One reason the ginseng season starts on Sept. 1 in North Carolina, that is generally when the berries mature. There have been studies that show germination is much higher when berries are red as opposed to green,” Kauffman said.
“If you plant berries in 1-2 inches in soil, you can improve the regeneration. People are taking ones they should-n’t, or they are not planting seeds, and harvest pressure has increased.”

Kauffman said the severe restricting of the harvest season and limiting number of permits will reduce harvest pressure, and it is hoped that will give the plants time to regenerate.
The Forest Service has seen poaching pressure increasing over the past decade. In 2008, the agency restricted the season from Sept. 1-30 (it previously had no end date) and increased the permit cost from $30 to $40. Those inter-ested in purchasing a ginseng harvesting permit must submit names and addresses to one of six district offices by July 15. The number of permits issued by district includes: Cheoah Ranger District— 16 permits; Nantahala — 66; Tusquitee — 10; Appalachian – 29; Grandfather — seven; and Pisgah — eight. Requests by email will not be ac-cepted. Names will be chosen in a lottery and the names drawn will be notified by Aug. 15.

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Re:No Ginseng season for me and others in NC 4 years 2 months ago #23372

I never looked into what kind of restrictions there are on planting stratified seed on national forest land. I'd like to help it along for future generations.

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Re:No Ginseng season for me and others in NC 4 years 2 months ago #23382

Whitjr,

Did you see how many mistakes were in the report that you posted! \"Ginseng can fetch $500 a pound in East Asia,\". This is less than it brings here on occasion and in East Asia, I would bet that Wild Ginseng fetches in excess of $5,000 a pound just about anywhere in East Asia. \"Permits allow for harvesting of 1-3 wet pounds, at $40 per pound, of wild ginseng.\" Where in the hell do they get these prices from? A wet pound of Ginseng should at least bring about 1/4 or more of the price of dried Ginseng and at $500 a pound (let's say that that is the opening price this year), then wet or green Ginseng should fetch $125 a pound or more. \"Permits state that only mature wild ginseng plants — those with three or more leaves — may be harvested, and permit holders must plant seeds from harvested plants near the site of removal.\" It should read \"Permits state that only mature wild ginseng plants — those with three or more prongs — may be harvested, and permit holders must plant seeds from harvested plants near the site of removal.\"

I noticed similar mistakes in the permitting paperwork issued by the NF here in Tennessee! Apparently they have people working on regulating Ginseng, the permits and other rules, that have no clue as to what they are doing. You can't run an efficient conservation program with people that do not know anything about what they are conserving, how to conserve it and the reasons behind the conservation program. They should hire some long time Ginseng Diggers/Growers that at least know what Ginseng is, what is needed to conserve it and have a viable conservation program that will work and not piss-off every Ginseng Digger across a State or the Country!


Frank

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