POACHER TARGETS OHIOS GREEN GOLD IN CARROLL COUNTY Illegal harvest of the highly coveted herb, Ginseng, lands poacher in jail AKRON, OH In order to protect American ginseng from being overharvested, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Wildlife requires by law that wild and cultivated ginseng in Ohio must be certified before it can be exported from Ohio. A season on ginseng harvesting, commonly called digging, is established and enforced similar to a game animal hunting season and runs from September 1st to December 31st of each year. William Dalton of Malvern chose not to abide by these laws and faced the consequences put forth by the Carroll County Court. Dalton was convicted of the following: one count of digging ginseng out of season, one count of digging undersized plants, one count resisting arrest, fined $600.00, ordered to serve 20 days in jail, and is required to serve two years reporting probation with the conditions that he cannot possess ginseng or be involved in the ginseng trade. Those who wish to harvest ginseng must understand that a highly regulated ginseng harvesting season is enforced to prevent illegal harvesting activities, explains Doug Miller, law enforcement supervisor for the Division of Wildlife. Also, ginseng found on private land is owned by the landowner. If a trespasser harvests ginseng on private property without permission of the landowner, that is illegal and enforcement actions will be taken by the Division of Wildlife. Ginseng, known as Ohios green gold, is an herb highly prized worldwide for its root. The ginseng plant is native to Ohios woodlands and grows primarily in the southeastern, Appalachian region of the state. Ohioans hunt for and dig the root, a practice called sanging' by participants, and then sell the root, which ends up mainly in the Asian market. Dry wild root is worth up to $400 per pound. About 3,200 pounds of dried ginseng root is harvested from the state each year, making Ohio a top exporter in the United States. For regulations on Ohios ginseng laws, visit http://www.ohiodnr.com/wildlife/resources/Ginseng/ginsenglaws.htm or call 1-800-WILDLIFE.