Blue Ridge Parkway Three Arrested For Galax Poaching An operation to interdict galax poaching was conducted near the Mt. Mitchell area of the parkway over a two-day period last week. The operation involved two teams conducting surveillance at two access points where violators were either accessing and/or being dropped off to harvest the plants. The first day was unsuccessful, but three individuals were arrested on the second day. The three were in possession of more than 30,000 galax leaves. On Thursday, September 15th, the three appeared before a U.S. magistrate and pled guilty to illegally harvesting galax and commercial operations, with two receiving 30 days in jail and the third receiving 90 days (second offense). This area has historically seen a high amount of such activity and is closely monitored by both rangers and members of the Appalachians Highlands Inventory and Monitoring Network. This particular type of galax has a very large leaf and is a target for poachers because it can bring five cents a leaf for floral arrangements. It only grows in areas along the parkway. [Tim Francis, Pisgah District Ranger]
A Well Done to the Park Ranger staff of the Pisgah District of the Blue Ridge Parkway.
Thanks for keeping watch over our precious heritage.