On Sunday, September 30th, protection rangers in the Ridge District of the Blue Ridge Parkway detected and apprehended two separate groups of poachers illegally taking ginseng from park lands.
A group of four were 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.
Hiking in the Smokies