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Permit Will Be Needed To Harvest Ginseng At Wayne National Forest

Operators of the Wayne National Forest in southern Ohio will soon require people to obtain a permit to harvest wild ginseng, the root plant believed to have medicinal properties. Alison Holm reports.

Wild ginseng can sell on the open market for hundreds of dollars a pound. Before the new permit was crafted, forest officials had put ginseng under a general permit that includes six other species of root plants. The price of the general root permit will stay at 20 dollars. Forest officials hope that requiring people to purchase a 20 dollar permit to harvest ginseng will curtail poaching activity and help them track the amount harvested. The Ohio Division of Wildlife reports 153 cases of poaching in 2014, up from 46 in the previous year.  Dried ginseng root is believed to help combat stress, cancer-related fatigue, diabetes and several other ailments. The wild ginseng permit goes on sale August 1. Ginseng harvest season in the forest runs from September 1 through December 1. People without a permit and those who harvest out-of-season may be charged with a misdemeanor punishable by up to six months in jail.

A native of Chicago, naturalized citizen of Cincinnati and resident of Columbus, Alison attended Earlham College and the Ohio State University. She has equal passion for Midwest history, hockey and Slavic poetry.
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