The real problem with thieves and poachers is they start digging as soon as it comes up. Season means nothing to them so what good is shortening the season, Where the law makers came up with 5 years to mature on the wild ginseng is a mistake. This should be raised to 10 years at least.
To stop the unlawful digging out of season,maybe only fresh dug ginseng can only be sold or bought. This a thought.
What does everyone else think
Agreed Rootman and Maya, that's a darn good idea. Trying to play devils advocate and I can only think of one reason why it might not work that only fresh seng can be sold.
I guess the only possible problem would be if you dug some in Sept then you couldn't wait until the prices go up in November. But on the other hand perhaps the fresh roots could be stored in a soil mix until they were to be sold if the digger wants to wait and see what the market does.
I guess there could be a chance that some newbies could lose their dug roots to root rot or drying out if the moisture is not kept at the proper level in the soil mix that the roots were to be stored in.
Haven't had time Mortis to read the article but I will soon.
I agree about raising the minimum root age to dig up to 10 years. I know in my area, there are plenty of 10+ year roots that I get partially dug out, and see how small the root is, and just put it back. No point digging a 10, 15, 20 year old root that is only the size of a peanut shell.
I like the idea of dealers only buying fresh dug roots also, there is certainly no way roots dug in June could be legally bought in Sept.
My sister has taken an interest in ginseng lately, not for digging, but for preservation. I know she has been in contact with other professors at Penn State, and also with the GC, PA Dept of Natural Resources, and Forestry Service.
She said that most believe that ginseng will be classified as an endangered species in PA within 10 years.
Mortis what are your thoughts tho on selling fresh root. I mean if it needs to be sold fresh and is dug in Sept then how do you hold out for a better price in November? I still like the sell fresh idea. Just trying to cover a possible problem and would like to hear everyone's thoughts on it. Would hate to take the diggers choice away to wait and sell at a higher price. Plus it wouldn't take long for the big buyers to realize that they could buy it for a very low price early on in the already short seng season.
Yeah, there would always be bugs to be worked out regardless of the plan. I'm not sure how roots would hold up, but could you take an empty 50 gallon drum, fill 1/2 way with dirt, and put roots and dirt into it to hold all your roots until you are ready to sell, then \"dig\" them back up again? I would think it wouldn't hurt the roots any, but I'm not certain.
Dig roots in Sept and Oct in the woods, bring them home to your \"root barrel\" and when Nov comes around, dig them and wash them and away go the fresh ginseng roots.
Now, if this system would work for poachers who dig their roots in June, and keep the roots fresh until Nov, then we've pretty much just shot ourselves in the foot.
I guess the bottom line is that there is no way to ever fully stop an immoral person from performing an immoral deed if they want to.
Hmmm. I agree with some and disagree with other thoughts here.
First, green only will not catch on. In addition to the issues you all noted, there is no way to accurately keep track of harvested amounts. I know that the push is to stop the trade in fresh all together in order to have less flexibility in the weights between green and dry after the dealers have bought them.
I am the last person to advocate additional governmental intrusion in any aspect of our lives -God knows we have more now than anyone should have to endure. However, as you all noted, people who don't care about the law won't care about another one either. So, as long as they can sell undersize and underage roots, they will continue to dig them. But, if it were illegal for dealers to sell them, they would stop buying them. If the dealers won't buy them, the diggers will stop digging them.