Recently Park Rangers on the Blue Ridge Parkway in Virginia caught two groups of people illegally digging valuable ginseng plants within the park.
The following is taken from the October 9th National Park Service Morning Report;
Blue Ridge ParkwayRangers Make Two Ginseng Poaching CasesOn Sunday, September 30th, protection rangers inthe Ridge District detected and apprehended two separate groups of poachersillegally taking ginseng from park lands. A group of four was seen digging illegally byrangers Jeremy Sears and Marc Cyr; three of them were cited for the illegalremoval of the plant.
Rangers Zeph Cunningham and Miranda Cook thencontacted two people as they walked along the parkway to their vehicle.Further investigation resulted in the rangers discovering a bag stashed inthe woods that contained a large amount of ginseng and digging tools. Oneof the people they contacted admitted to digging the ginseng and was placedunder arrest. A search of their vehicle resulted in the discovery of asecond bag of ginseng.
Wild ginseng is currently being sold for $500 to$600 per pound. [Kurt Speers, Ridge District Ranger]