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Daniel Boone National Forest prohibits ginseng gathering for the 6th year

U.S. Forest Service

Ginseng gathering will not be allowed this year in the Daniel Boone National Forest. Permits have not been issued for the last six years in an effort to replenish the plant in the forest.

David Taylor is Forest Botanist for the Daniel Boone National Forest. Taylor said research shows that a sustainable population of ginseng needs a minimum of 100 to 150 plants.

“We just do not have populations that size. We have found a few that were maybe pushing 20 plants. But that's you know, that's big for us right now. So we just do not, from what we know, we just do not have sustainable populations,” said Taylor.

Taylor said typically, collectors report seeing just one or two ginseng plants at a time.

The botanist said by state law, harvesters are supposed to plant ginseng seeds in the general vicinity of the plant they found.

“Some people, when we allowed permits, were doing that. Other people took the seed and took it back to near where they live to plant it in the woods closer to them. So it's just easier to find in the future,” said Taylor.

Taylor added not allowing ginseng harvesting again this season will allow plants to drop seeds and perhaps grow more plants.

Collecting ginseng in the Daniel Boone National Forest without a permit is a violation of federal law and could result in fines.

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Samantha is WEKU's All Things Considered Host and also reports on news of interest in the commonwealth. Sam is a graduate of Morehead State University and worked for MSU's Public Radio Station WMKY.
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