National forest in Ohio requiring permits to harvest ginseng

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Wayne National Forest in southern Ohio is trying to ward off ginseng poachers by requiring a permit to harvest the root plant that’s thought to have medicinal properties and can sell for hundreds of dollars a pound.

The Columbus Dispatch ( ) reports the forest will require a $20 permit to harvest its ginseng.

A forest spokesman says the permit should help officials to track the amount of ginseng taken from the forest in Athens County.

Dried ginseng root is said to help combat stress, cancer-related fatigue, diabetes and several other ailments.

Ginseng harvest season in the forest runs from Sept. 1 to Dec. 1. Violators who are caught digging ginseng without permission or digging out of season are charged with a misdemeanor punishable by up to six months in jail.

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