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TOPIC: How do we stop illegal digging out of season?

Re:How do we stop illegal digging out of season? 3 years 2 days ago #33744

Mortis wrote:

The problem with relying on stricter punishments for lawbreakers is that they only get punished if they get caught. I'd wager that you only hear about or see 1 out of 10 illegal diggers / trespassers right now. I agree with your idea to up the charges on criminals, but I think that needs to be combined with some other factors to actually stop illegal digging/buying completely.

It's unrealistic, but the only way I can see the green only theory working would be if all states held consistent pricing so Maine through Wisconsin through Georgia was always the same. Then, you would also need the entire year buying rate pre-determined and held all season long. This way there is no incentive to hold your root longer waiting for a better price. Logistically, there is no way that could ever happen. Seng quality varies from location to location, different diggers dig better or worse, seng up north matures and drops away a month earlier than the southern states.

I don't have any real good ideas that don't have an equal number of downsides. But I enjoy reading what all your opinions are.

More would get caught if people were given a incentive to turn the illegal diggers & buyers in and then if law enforcement actually reacted to the information they received in a timely manner would make a HUGE difference. The guy headed into the woods to poach or trespass and steal is looking at what a few hundred dollars in fines maybe and 30 days tops in jail in most instances. Boy that sure is a big deterrent to stop making a yearly 20-40 lbs + dried haul doing it illegally. So if they know they are facing a confiscation of ALL ginseng dug and a minimum penalty of $10,000.00 or 10 times the value of all ginseng possessed which ever is greater that sure takes a bite out of any profit then. Cause come on as long as money's involved in a decent amount SOMEONES going to be willing to break the law to get that money. They can't get the war on drugs to make any progress and look at how many law enforcement make that a PRIORITY, so how will MORE LAWS with less enforcement than used in the war on drugs make illegal ginseng digging go down?? It won't. But stiffen the penalties to a severe enough nature and you cut out a lot of folks poaching & trespassing to steal ginseng. Not all but many will be eliminated by more severe punishment because now why worry about a few $100's in fines when you can still net THOUSANDS in profits. Not much deterrent there I feel. Then if the added a incentive to those turning others in like the IRS does on tax evaders say where each reliable lead ends up in a bust you net 10-20% of fines involved for turning them in and property owners receive 10 times the root value for the ginseng stolen by trespasser's that gives the guys a incentive to turn them in. Shoot if I was to be allowed 10 times the worth of my ginseng by catching illegal diggers on my property I would most likely add more observation equipment than I already use and unlike my entire lifetime of never telling where I have my ginseng growing and never showing anyone I might just do a interview with the local paper telling where it is so I could then help bust the illegal diggers to reap 10 times the worth of my ginseng leading to a greater profit which would mean more money to buy further land, seeds, more ginseng beds for transplanting etc... further expanding what I already have. We aren't grade schoolers anymore afraid of tattling on someone were ginseng STEWARDS looking to keep what's ours ours, and looking to promote conservation & expansion of a product of nature.
Myself I know of at least a 1/2 dozen illegal diggers in my area and see many more that I do not know throughout the year walking down the road slipping into woods that's obviously digging out of season and for 10-20% of fines & penalties I will be further inclined to catch them and turn them in. But based on my own experience telling enforcement about them now and then enforcement not even willing to come investigate I just shake my head about the illegal digger and go on my way now when I see them. Although if there near areas I have friends that ginseng in I then inform my friends of the problem in there area.
More and more laws in the drug war have sure taken the drug business down right?? so I'm sure more for ginseng would do the same right?? I don't think so.
Moneys involved so there will ALWAYS be SOME illegal activity we can't curtail, but with severe enough penalties you'll remove the average family raising non-drug using poacher from the picture, and with the proper enticement those illegal diggers will see the profit in turning in the other illegal diggers, rogue buyers & licensed buyers buying the illegal root.
The war on drugs is a failure as done and the last thing we need is a war on ginseng to begin.
I'm glad I have good relations with all the legal diggers & buyers I know ( except for the chap that was busted using illegal doctored scales took them 3 years after I informed law enforcement of the discrepancy with his scales before something happened and I feel it only happened then because it was a year that the Fed's cooperated with Indiana DNR to catch ginseng bought out of season which he was also caught in ) and I don't want further regulations placed on them or me that are ineffective to try and stop the money grubbers from digging illegally that are in effect not going to work ( Look at the war on drugs it certainly hasn't worked ) Instead dial in the regulations better. Enforce what's there, increase incentive of others to stop it with rewards & portions of penalties. In regards to making it more sustainable make Federal export law that all roots must be a minimum of 10 years old. Then the diggers in states that allow 5-9 year old plants be harvested will no longer have a reason to dig them as know one will want to buy them and the states that allow ANY 3 prong plant to be legal ( this means as young as 3 year plants are legal ) would no longer have diggers digging them since the market has no use to buy them since anything under 10 years couldn't be exported.

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Re:How do we stop illegal digging out of season? 3 years 2 days ago #33745

Ittiz wrote:

All the laws in the world will be for not if you have dealers willing to buy illegal root. If someone has the money someone will provide a product, the more difficult the better. The drug trade is proof of that. Regulation obviously has to happen on the level with the dealer. There are many fewer of them than diggers. Setting prong or node limits is myopic, it doesn't keep up with the market and doesn't guarantee quality root.

One simple solution (I know the dealers on here won't like it) is to simply limit the amount of root the dealer can export and actually enforce it. This would be way easier than catching poachers in the woods and even more effective. Dealers would have to select only quality root to get the best price per weight. The young low priced root would be ignored. People could dig it, but good luck selling it. Once people realize they can't sell the root they won't dig it.

Its rogue & licensed dealers both not just 1 or the other, increase penalties not more regulation for dealers & diggers. Then clean up the regulations so they are more friendly to the USA and digger & buyer and less favorable for the foreign buyers to be able to manipulate the market beyond the supply & demand aspect of pricing.

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Re:How do we stop illegal digging out of season? 3 years 2 days ago #33746

knob wrote:

Limits on export weights or limits on how much dealers could buy only spells bad news for diggers. Local dealers work on small margins usually 10to15% exporters work on even smaller margins only 3 to 5% with limits on weight dealers would have no choice but to pay the diggers less per lb . That's the only way to stay in business .As much as we would like to no one can work for free. We want it to be profitable for digger to dig but has to be profitable for dealers to buy or no one would bother.why would we risk hundreds of thousands of our personal dollars for no return

I hear ya knob and fully agree.

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Re:How do we stop illegal digging out of season? 3 years 2 days ago #33747

rootman wrote:

I think a lot of people are thinking it's the licensed dealer buying out of season.
This is totally wrong. It's rogue buyers with money buying all summer for half price. This has become an epidemic far greater than you realize.I'd say every county in Ky. has at least six or more illegal rogue buyers. Now, How do they sell it. During legal season they can divide it up among family members and their cronies and go from dealer to dealer in different counties or maybe even across state lines claiming they are the harvester.
So how do you control this?

Get the legal buyers to turn in the rogue buyers & licensed buyers they know are doing it, then when those get busted by this information REWARD the party turning them in.
They can and do buy & busts on drugs all the time so lets start clandestine ginseng illegal sell & busts. Then those busted for buying illegally can get a reduced sentence on fines & monetary penalties for the illegally dug ginseng in their possession by turning in those that they bought from making those diggers then responsible for the fines & monetary penalties on that portion of the illegally harvested ginseng.

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Re:How do we stop illegal digging out of season? 3 years 2 days ago #33749

GMCPaul,
I admire your enthusiasm about poachers and rogue buyers, but you just wrote a scenario to getting someone killed and their property burned to the ground. People in the Southeast kind of take it seriously when you do something to cause them to have to go to jail or take their livelihood away. I see as much poaching and rogue buying as anyone on this board, and I hate it, but I believe I'll let you come down and do those things you suggested.

Hugh

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Re:How do we stop illegal digging out of season? 3 years 2 days ago #33750

Hugh Hartsell wrote:

GMCPaul,
I admire your enthusiasm about poachers and rogue buyers, but you just wrote a scenario to getting someone killed and their property burned to the ground. People in the Southeast kind of take it seriously when you do something to cause them to have to go to jail or take their livelihood away. I see as much poaching and rogue buying as anyone on this board, and I hate it, but I believe I'll let you come down and do those things you suggested.

Hugh

so because some folks in the SE don't believe they should be held responsible for their OWN ACTIONs we shouldn't make laws that inhibit those actions nor enforce the laws on the books??? Not very sound thinking. Perhaps those in the SE need to change their way of thinking somewhat if they can't deal with the consequences of their own actions. I'm not forcing anyone to break the law or condoning it. based on your opinion then IF YOU HAVE 5 acres sitting BESIDE YOUR HOUSE that your raising ginseng on for the last 25+ years and your family tended this land before you then you spot a trespasser POACHING & STEALING YOUR GINSENG your gonna sit in your house and just watch because folks don't like going to jail and they'll shoot you for turning them in???

I've monitored & protected my property for my lifetime so far, and my grandfather did before me and his father before him and I'm not gonna sit quietly and watch them STEAL MY & MY FAMILIES EFFORTS. I'm also not gonna sit and watch my friends & neighbors experience the exact same thing. Lock up those law breakers that are willing to shoot and you won't have the problem, continue to sit by and know of it occurring and doing nothing and you are condoning it by your silence.
This grade school mentality of turning your back or your a tattle tell has to end.
So if you want to be silent and let it occur to you, your family, friends, and neighbors so be it. BUT when your ginseng is stolen & gone and sitting in someone else's pockets PLEASE DON\"T MENTION IT TO ANYONE AS YOU DON\"T WANT THEM TO GO TO JAIL FOR DOING IT TO OTHERS SO YOU HAVE ZERO RIGHT TO EXPECT YOURS BE SAFE FROM THEM.
Honestly its very poor reasoning to not turn someone in as it just makes it EASIER FOR THEM THE NEXT TIME with this sort on mentality Hugh.
Now if they want to go do things on THEIR land that affects no one else I'll keep my mouth shut as that is their business, but when their actions affect me, my family & community I'm speaking up I know how to Shoot back.

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Re:How do we stop illegal digging out of season? 3 years 2 days ago #33751

GMCPaul,
I read you loud and clear. I have exactly the type of setup that you described at my house.
I now invite you to come down to my area and put your actions where your mouth is. That's what I thought. All mouth!
You were invited to cool it on the board and you've chosen not to do so. Come on down to Tennessee and put your money where your mouth is. Shoot someone and see where that gets you. I choose not to.

Hugh

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Re:How do we stop illegal digging out of season? 3 years 2 days ago #33752

Hugh Hartsell wrote:

GMCPaul,
I read you loud and clear. I have exactly the type of setup that you described at my house.
I now invite you to come down to my area and put your actions where your mouth is. That's what I thought. All mouth!
You were invited to cool it on the board and you've chosen not to do so. Come on down to Tennessee and put your money where your mouth is. Shoot someone and see where that gets you. I choose not to.

Hugh

Hugh I'm not saying shoot them for stealing it, I'm saying turn the thief's in. If they then want to shoot your or your family for doing this then SHOOT BACK. Why do I need to protect your property for you there as you have you and your neighbors to do that and I have my property. I've turned in Thieves before and I'll continue to do so, I've turned in men & women both abusing others physically and will continue to do so, I've called the law on the drunken driver endangering others, and many other similar things including shop lifters, etc.... If they decide they need vengeance for my upholding my rights and others and come for me or mine I will PROTECT US WITH EVERTY OUNCE OF MY ABILITIES which would include shooting back as that is my right if violence is perpetrated against me. But to remain silent and watch it happen is condoning it and is a part of the problem.
Now if you want to PAY ME or others to do this for you down in TN or elsewhere and its legal for me to do so I might bite if the moneys good enough but I'm not gonna come there and do it for you just because you won't as I'm not vested in your property nor would I gain anything in leaving mine unprotected to protect yours that you are not willing to protect because your afraid to open your mouth to stop whats occurring. So you just keep on being a good ole boy and stay silent to what occurs and I'll keep on being a good community activist protecting my and my friends & neighbors interests rather than just my interests alone.

But don't ask me to remain silent while someone steals from others.

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Re:How do we stop illegal digging out of season? 3 years 2 days ago #33753

GMCPaul,
I really don't think you understand the situation here in the Southeast. If you have followed post about this matter thru the years you would have read where we have targeted poachers and bad buyers for quite some time. Last season we had the Game Warden and the USFS agent on the mountain for several days trying to catch these poachers. We have put links to several arrests that were made trying to get this stopped or slowed down. There have been some pretty hefty fines and jail time where many of the arrest were made. There are also several stories about shootings and numbers of fire reports in different counties throughout this year. I've lost count of the fires that were set. I'm sure they were not all ginseng related, but I'm sure some were. This retaliation that I'm talking about will never come as something that you can shoot back at. You'll never know it's going to happen until a bullet hits you. You'll never know the fire is coming until you wake up in the night with your house or car on fire. These people aren't stupid and they know how to get their kind of justice. I have no desire whatsoever to do any damage to your way of making a living at growing ginseng and I have tried my best to put as much ginseng back into the forest as I can. I would just ask you again to calm your self down on this board. Keep it civil.

Hugh

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Re:How do we stop illegal digging out of season? 3 years 1 day ago #33754

If I've not been civil to anyone please point the post out and I'll issue a personal apology but just because I voice a different opinion than others doesn't make it me not being civil.
Rootman has caught the majority of my dissent to his opinion on requiring selling of green root only but I in know way want rootman to feel I have tried to be uncivil to him. He's a valuable poster to this site and all opinions count but I felt he was failing look at what he was saying should occur would cause and tried to point it out. But I did not mean to be uncivil towards him or any others on this board.
Glad to hear there were some hefty fines hopefully they were actually hefty as 30 people busted say with total of fines reaching $30,000.00 isn't hefty if they are making $10,000-$20,000 each a year or more off there illegal practice. Even $3000 X 30= $90,000 isn't hefty in my opinion if they have 300 lbs dried ginseng amongst the 30 people as they harvested 10lbs dried each multiplied by its value and the fines are less than the worth of the ginseng. HIT THEM IN THEIR POCKETS, if fines can't be paid confiscate what you can and sell it to meet the fines, order them to conduct work if they can't pay and then use the hourly wage they would've been paid to pay the fines & penalties then if those fines don't work increase the fines then if the increases fail to work then 3rd offense make it 3-4 years jail time as a minimum rather than 30 days or 6 months, the more you break the same laws the more the penalties grow. Then 4-5 times offenders lose ability to dig, buy, sell ANY GINSENG. But to keep your mouth shut because you'll be retaliated against possibly only strengthens the ability of the law breakers to continue doing so. I didn't raise my kids with the good ole boy mentality of keeping silent on others wrong doings.
I don't go out and actively look for criminal's as I'm not a cop but when I see criminal actions I'm not afraid to speak up either. I've had physical retaliation towards myself for doing this and defended myself in a like manner at the time it occurred but then I also reported that retaliation towards me to the law and saw them punished again.
Stay silent you condone it, teach your kids to do the same it only makes things worse. We are not a 3rd world country where the gangs & criminal's run things so step forward into this century and quit living in the past allowing things to go on as they did in the past and it will be better for all.
So if you take myself as posting as posting my opinion to be out of control I'm sorry, if you feel I'm not being civil by posting my opinion I'm sorry but my posting is my opinion and if I see a different opinion that I don't honestly agree with I will respond with why. If the poster then comes back with how they reached there reasoning and it sways me in my opinion some great that's what conversing about things is supposed to be about. Stating your opinions, listening to others state theirs then working things out based on everyone's opinions. If I can't sway someone to my opinion so be it and if they can't sway me to theirs again so be it but I shouldn't be faulted for pointing out what I feel are problems in their opinion. I'm sorry the SE USA is as violent as you portray and I'm sorry if the enforcement of the laws in the SE USA is leading to violence but to stick our heads in the sand due to the violence involved only sets us back and in MY OPINION hurts solving the problem.
Hope your ginseng remains untouched by any but yourself but if you see someone stealing it from others or creating a black market for it due to your being silent to it happening I'll not feel sorry as its then deserved based upon KARMA in my opinion.
By the way a am a 1-2 finger typist and have to look at the keyboard to type so I don't use BOLD often to highlight points of talk often as I find it more time consuming so I go to all CAPS INSTEAD. So if you see me using all CAPS I'm not yelling I'm emphasizing a point the easiest way I can.

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