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TOPIC: Ginseng Poaching Featuered on CBS This Morning Program

Re:Ginseng Poaching Featuered on CBS This Morning Program 4 years 1 month ago #24568

K_Duce, I understand your point. I'm thinking that Huntsman53 was attempting to be inclusive of everyone.

I have to agree that the growers would be getting the most benefit from the earlier-in-this-post proposal.

Tanner [Rural Action Forestry] has a good point as well. His post is very informative as to the historical efforts towards this.

I posted some stuff in another thread about a month ago... how would the proposal as introduced by Hunstman53 have a location? In a paticular state, or in cyberspace via the net?

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Re:Ginseng Poaching Featuered on CBS This Morning Program 4 years 1 month ago #24587

K_Duce,

I also see your point and it is completely valid. This is basically what I mean when I say the small growers will be the ones with greater standing, and who I believe will have the most credibility with the administrative organizations with which we must deal.

I understand Frank's position in trying to bring forward various other groups (such as diggers) to lend numbers. However, I think (and Frank and I discussed this the other day)that the first issue is to gain credibility and legitimacy with the administrative organizations. To do this, we need both numbers AND standing. I think 50 small growers who have been investing in their crops for seven or eight years or more, would have greater standing than would 100 diggers who want unrestricted access to public lands.

As I said before, it is the administrative bodies with which we will deal who will decide what it will take for us to have a spot at the table.

I agree with Frank, I do not want to leave anyone out, but at the same time, we must keep in mind what our mission might be. Initially, I've laid out three primary areas where I think we may be able to make a difference not only for ourselves but for the future of ginseng also.

1) Education.
Diggers and growers: I think there are three kinds of lawbreakers when it comes to ginseng harvesting. Those who don't know. Those who don't fully understand, and those who just do not care. If they get the information, the first group will likely heal itself. The second group, needs more justification for the reason behind the laws in order to be willing to comply. The third group might change their opinion if given the right information.

Administrators: I think there is a lack of reality (for lack of a better word) with some of the administrative folks when it comes to setting regulations for wild ginseng. Certainly we have folks like KYginseng who are ahead of the game (she is a human sponge when it comes to learning more about ginseng). Folks like her are not in this area at all. These folks will seek out growers if they have a question about actual practice and do their homework before making a decision. However, I think there are many more out there (often at the top of the chains) who know little about ginseng at all, and only know the academic version of the issues. They have a list of approved established facts by which they determine the future of wild and wild sim harvests. These folks need an avenue to receive more current information. A group like this might be able to sponsor scientific research and make this information available to the administrators for their consideration. This means a group such as the one proposed needs to educate ourselves, other growers and diggers, and the administrators on the other end too.

2) Consistency of regulations
Many of the states have varying laws regarding what we can and cannot do with ginseng both wild and cultivated. I would like to see these laws become more uniform so that the education of diggers and growers can be more easily carried out. I would like to see consistency in the definitions of wild, wild simulated, woodsgrown, and cultivated ginseng. My state of Ohio for instance only recognizes wild and cultivated ginseng.

3) Protection
Small growers may not spend $10,000 on shade and plant 80lbs of seed per acre like the big shade growers do, however, we have invested a considerable amount for a long-term crop. The primary purpose of ANY government is the protection of personal property rights of its citizens. Why should smaller ginseng growers be any different? I would like to see regulations enacted by the states to help protect the small grower should the federal administrative bodies put the kabosh on wild or wild simulated harvest in the future.

4) I mentioned it before, but really want to call attention to the opportunity we would have as researchers. When we get this many folks together, we have the ability to amass an amazing about of raw data about our activities. How much do we plant? How much do we harvest? Do we see natural propagation in our plantings? etc etc. This may be invaluable to proving that we do indeed promote the continued health of the wild (or at least wild growing) ginseng population in the US.

With these types of goals in mind, I think we would be better off to focus on the small growers first, and if we get off the ground, bring in other classes of membership such as a digger class or wild steward class. I suspect a few diggers will be quick to jump in, and most of the wild ginseng stewards would too. However, if we cannot get enough small growers on board to gain legitimacy and credibility in the eyes of the administrative bodies, we are wasting everyone's time. That is why I think initially, this proposed group should be focused on only the smaller growers.

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Re:Ginseng Poaching Featuered on CBS This Morning Program 4 years 1 month ago #24598

I tend to ramble quite a bit. My remarks were not specifically aimed at Huntsman, at all.
I just don't share the same sentiment about diggers and growers coming together as a cohesive unit to change laws that are being put into place because ginseng is reportedly on the decline.
years ago when i noticed my own ginseng was on the decline, i looked for answers, and came to the understanding that (I) was partly the reason for my own ginsengs decline. Then i looked for a solution to fix this problem. I started by stopping most all hunting on my property, deer, coyote, rabbit, turkey, squirrel, crow, duck, you name it,i stopped it, I stopped people and prying eyes out of my forest, that was step 1.
Step 2, i quit digging any ginseng for sale, yes i sacrificed instant gratification for the greater good of my property.
Step 3, i initiated a restoration of the ginseng population on my property with the addition of cultivated ginseng seed. to the tune of a few hundred pounds.
Step 4, I started actively planting native seed and spend countless hours in the woods for security and re-seeding and topping the ginseng every year.
I am by no means a wealthy man, i have had to work hard for what i have. It was not easy to spend money buying ginseng seed, but i knew if i didn't sacrifice then that later i would have no ginseng to enjoy.

Over the years i have removed several people from my property, not once have i had someone sneak onto my property to plant some seed.

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Re:Ginseng Poaching Featured on CBS This Morning Program 4 years 1 month ago #24600

Wow...wow...wow! So K_duce was a Ginseng Digger at some point in his lifetime but he changed! Well, not all Ginseng Diggers are the money grubbers, thieves, and AH's that he portrays us to be! Many Ginseng Diggers have changed and have become Stewards of Wild Ginseng populations and even plant Wild-Simulated Ginseng in areas where we can. Many of these folks, myself included, do not have lands on which to plant Wild-Simulated Ginseng, so we have to rely on the generosity of others who do own lands or in the past, by planting in remote and rough areas of the now National Forests where it is less likely to be found by poachers and others. Most of the lands in the Appalachians which many of us and our ancestors hunted and dug Ginseng, hunted Deer, Wild Turkey, Wild Boar, Black Bear and even herbs are now gone to us. These lands are now protected or virtually off-limits to us under new regulations of the USDA and Forestry Service, taken by decree to create National Parks or now owned by out of staters who post everything and anything, right down to their' damned driveways where someone might just have to use to turn around their' car or truck because they took the wrong road or accidentlally passed their destination. As descendants of the original white settlers and some of us as myself, our Native American Indian ancestors and being part of our heritage, we were once afforded the rights to harvest Ramps from the National Park. However, those rights and other rights, have long been taken away from us.

I may be wrong but I also believe that there are many here on the forums and elsewhere, which would take offense to K_duce's remarks about diggers. There are many on these forums who plant Wild-Simulated or Woodsgrown Ginseng but also hunt and dig Wild Ginseng. Are these folks also consider low-lifes in his' eyes as well as others? To be honest and expound somewhat on what BCastle wrote, I honestly do not believe that there are enough small growers of Wild-Simulated or Woodsgrown Ginseng to ever get an association for such off the ground. I believe that without the membership of us low-life Ginseng Diggers and/or Ginseng Diggers that either practice good stewardship or plant Wild-Simulated or Woodsgrown Ginseng or those that do both, that such an organization will not truly be viable! We must not only work to protect Wild-Simulated and Woodsgrown Ginseng and its growers from adverse regulations, legislation and/or laws, we must also work to protect Wild Ginseng from the same and from extinction. Protecting the latter is just as important as the former as any adverse regulations, legislation and/or laws concerning Wild Ginseng, could easily affect the former due to bad decisions by Law makers and administrators made from bad information!

Personally, I do not take an afront to what K_duce wrote but take afront to it on behalf of the the many Ginseng Diggers that are or are not members of Wildgrown! Many of these folks have to scrape and scrap to get by, especially in these days and age and to have something that has been a long tradition in their families and as a way of just getting by, thrown in their' faces is especially harsh. Things like these, honestly make me re-think my' membership of these forums and if I want to continue actively participating in such!


Frank

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Re:Ginseng Poaching Featuered on CBS This Morning Program 4 years 1 month ago #24603

Whoa...lets slow down here.

NO one suggested diggers were low-lifes.

K_Duce is expressing the position that many have come to adopt over the years, however. This is EXACTLY the issues any organization which will in part represent diggers, must overcome. We never see growers charged for illegal harvesting. I'm not saying at all that it might not happen, but when the media reports, the fact that a person caught poaching also plants seed or grows ginseng elsewhere is never mentioned.

Perception is reality for most people.

From an administrative perspective, it can be argued that diggers are takers, whereas growers put something back. Stewardship is likely a foreign concept. For that reason alone it makes sense that growers would initially have better standing administratively speaking, than would diggers.

These are all educational issues which can perhaps be healed with some work and a lot of education -both to diggers and others on the other side of the coin.

After all, guns are bad right? CBS will tell you they are. The difference is that we know better than that. We have more information than they have, or chose to share with the otherwise uneducated public.

If anyone thinks for one second ANYthing will be done quickly...I'm sorry...but that is just completely unrealistic.


I understand where Frank is coming from. I agree with his intent. Unfortunately, there are issues we still disagree on to some extent. But those are minor and completely insignificant at this point in time.

As I noted earlier, the first order of business is to determine what it will take for any group to be recognized by the administrative agencies as legitimate and credible. I fully believe -partly because of the issues similar to those brought up by K_duce- that a growers group will have greater standing at this point in time than a group representing diggers. I\"m not saying that is right or it should be that way...only that I think it is currently that way.

One of the big issues is that we must be willing to let EVERYone have a voice to be heard. Each of us must be willing to listen and understand the others so that we can make informed opinions. This doesn't mean that we will agree. Instead, we listen, understand, then compare the new information we now have with the opinions and information we held prior...and champion the better version of the combination of the two.

The first step to solving a problem is identifying the issues. K_Duce has identified a very valid issue with the perception of diggers by the general public who are aware of ginseng.

If you want to test K_duce's opinion, ask yourself a simple question. Would you talk about your growing operation's location in front of diggers you don't know while visiting your local ginseng dealer? I wouldn't. I wouldn't talk about it specifically to other growers either though.

Its really simple for me. If the shoe doesn't fit...don't try to wear it ;)

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Re:Ginseng Poaching Featuered on CBS This Morning Program 4 years 1 month ago #24604

K_duce has worked very hard for what he has and I understand where he is coming from.

I've tried educating diggers over the years about being more ethical and handed out ginseng flyers about legal harvesting and it probably helped somewhat but you're still going to have that 10% that don't care. They are going to dig as soon as it comes up and have no regards on stealing someone else's hard work.

The ginseng programs were put in place to help the diggers but it's not working just because of the 10% not complying. I'll bet if they were required to buy a lb. of seed for a permit to dig seng the seed would be sold or thrown over the hill.

I really don't know what the answer is.

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Re:Ginseng Poaching Featuered on CBS This Morning Program 4 years 4 weeks ago #24612

rootman wrote:

K_duce has worked very hard for what he has and I understand where he is coming from.

I've tried educating diggers over the years about being more ethical and handed out ginseng flyers about legal harvesting and it probably helped somewhat but you're still going to have that 10% that don't care. They are going to dig as soon as it comes up and have no regards on stealing someone else's hard work.

The ginseng programs were put in place to help the diggers but it's not working just because of the 10% not complying. I'll bet if they were required to buy a lb. of seed for a permit to dig seng the seed would be sold or thrown over the hill.

I really don't know what the answer is.



I\"m not completely sure either Rootman. But, that is why were are starting to look for a way to approach the issues. I think a representative voice is mandatory though, and that is the only reason I'm even considering this group/organization.

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Re:Ginseng Poaching Featuered on CBS This Morning Program 4 years 4 weeks ago #24632

\"Over the years i have removed several people from my property, not once have i had someone sneak onto my property to plant some seed.\"

^^what a hoot^^ ^^ Love that one^^

I don't think diggers are low-lifes. I do think that just the criminals that poach are low-lifes. Have to agree that these folks would be the least likely to accept education or change their habits.

I'm going to be a wise-alec here.... Huntsman53, Dude, try having a beer before you post... it might make things a bit better. Personally I like your thoughts.... mostly.

Again, where would the organization as introduced be housed? any ideas?

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Re:Ginseng Poaching Featured on CBS This Morning Program 4 years 4 weeks ago #24643

Whitjr wrote:

I don't think diggers are low-lifes. I do think that just the criminals that poach are low-lifes. Have to agree that these folks would be the least likely to accept education or change their habits.

I'm going to be a wise-alec here.... Huntsman53, Dude, try having a beer before you post... it might make things a bit better. Personally I like your thoughts.... mostly.

Again, where would the organization as introduced be housed? any ideas?


Whitjr,

There was a time when posts and comments such as K_duce made, would have readily bounched off of me like a rubber ball. However, after having 4 heart attacks in April, being on medication for such and having lost a second sister (my middle sister) in less than two years on the 16th of July, I have become less tolerant of such posts and comments. It would matter not whether I drank a beer before I posted or not as I would still have the same sentiments!

The very reason that I had wanted all of us (all the members of Wildgrown and others that might be enticed to join) to form an association with members from all of the classes that I earlier discussed, was to avoid such division! I only wanted for all of us to come together to not just work for the betterment of one class but to work for the betterment of all the classes involved and foremost to work to save the Wild Ginseng for future generations and work to avoid any adverse legislation and laws that could effect it and in turn effect Wild-Simulated and Woodsgrown Ginseng and it's growers.


Frank

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Re:Ginseng Poaching Featuered on CBS This Morning Program 4 years 4 weeks ago #24662

I tend to agree with Huntsman. As for K deuce if the exportation of ginseng is eliminated you will have no market. They might allow cultivated, they might not, or they might only allow artificial shade to be exported. A lot of people think that if wild ginseng is outlawed then if they have wild simulated or woods grown then they will get rich on increased prices due to the absence of wild, but the Chinese want wild, and even if it resembles wild, it in my opinion will not be accepted with much enthusiasm.

National forests are owned by every US citizen, they are for our use and enjoyment. Proper ginseng digging increases ginseng population, there will be some who would degrade the population but they would do the same if digging was not allowed.

I have dug wild ginseng for 30 years, I have grown ginseng for 25 years, a little artificial shade, a little woodsgrown, and quite a bit of wild simulated. I have planted over 50 pounds of seed in the wild with many pounds of seed that I have never returned to, or intend to return to.

I would much rather dig wild ginseng than grow ginseng, growing it is not much different than any other crop. If they banned digging wild ginseng, it would not bother me if they banned cultivated also, even though I grow it myself.

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