Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Plant Theft From The Blue Ridge Parkway

As I have written before, plant theft from our National Parks is a growing problem.  Vegetative populations are being devastated for the financial gain of a few.  National Parks belong to us all and these criminals are stealing from each citizen of this country.

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 Parkway
Rangers Make Two Ginseng Poaching Cases
On Sunday, September 30th, protection rangers in
the Ridge District detected and apprehended two separate groups of poachers 
illegally taking ginseng from park lands.  A group of four was seen digging illegally by
rangers Jeremy Sears and Marc Cyr; three of them were cited for the illegal
removal of the plant. 
Rangers Zeph Cunningham and Miranda Cook then
contacted two people as they walked along the parkway to their vehicle.
Further investigation resulted in the rangers discovering a bag stashed in
the woods that contained a large amount of ginseng and digging tools. One
of the people they contacted admitted to digging the ginseng and was placed
under arrest. A search of their vehicle resulted in the discovery of a
second bag of ginseng. 
Wild ginseng is currently being sold for $500 to
$600 per pound. [Kurt Speers, Ridge District Ranger]


  1. That's too bad. I wonder if the buyers/producers of ginseng products are aware of where their ginseng comes from.

  2. That is a good point and in some instances investigations are focusing on the buyers in an attempt to thwart their purchasing of illegally taken plant materials.